Over 25 years ago, a Japanese car company called Datsun decided to change its name to Nissan. It was one of the most disaterous brand name shifts in history. Students in business schools all over the world study this as case study of how NOT to re-brand a company. Datsun chose a slow, soft transition, with cars badged as "Nissan Datsun" (or was it "Datsun Nissan") for a couple of model years, rather than a quick dropping of the old name, and promoting of the new. The lack of sure-footed decision-making on Datsun's part made the company stumble, and lose its footing for many years.
Perhaps thinking that most who lived through the Datsun/Nissan re-naming have forgotten the debacle (in 1986), or perhaps because they're in denial of how bad the sitation really was, Nissan has decided to resurrect the Datsun name.
A fledgling Japanese automobile company asked a veteran German auto maker to suggest a name for its new car.
"We need a name no later than tomorrow," said the Japanese official.
"Dat soon?" replied the surprised German.