In 2002, the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers—now known as PwC—rebranded its consulting business. The move wasn’t entirely voluntary: The US Congress had just passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in response to the accounting scandals of the previous few years (Enron, WorldCom, et al.), and firms like PwC were feeling the heat. PwC worked with a global branding agency, Wolff Olins, and in June 2002 announced the consulting business’s new name: Monday. It was meant to suggest “a fresh start,” spokespeople said. The company planned to invest $110 million through fiscal 2003 to establish the Monday brand.
Via BBC, July 30, 2002
The response from the outside world was … not kind. It probably will not shock you to learn that Monday—the day of the week—isn’t popular.
“Ask someone to name their least favourite words. The chances are that ‘Monday’ will come somewhere on the list,” the Irish Times snarked. An opinion writer for IT Week called the new name “bizarre” and said it represented “spin triumphing over substance.” German observers pointed out that “Monday” suggested low quality, as in “Monday cars” assembled before workers have recovered from the weekend.
Just another case of hating new names until we don’t? We never had a chance to find out: In July 2002, IBM bought PwC’s consulting unit and renamed it, in classic IBM fashion, the IBM Consulting Group.
But something about “Monday” must have resonated in the culture at large, because 19 years later, the name is thriving. It’s attached unapologetically to swimwear, haircare products, a team-management system, and at least four unrelated brand agencies in Canada, Macedonia, the UK, and the US.