Stupid names can't hurt good companies [?]
May 17, 2016 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Seemingly bored with a staid but descriptive and well-recognized name, Siemens Healthcare has rebranded to Siemens Healthineers. The cringeworthy new name is "...intended to underline its pioneering spirit, Siemens said in a statement." The name was unveiled in a cheesy public event, complete with an anodyne theme-song led by spandex-clad dancers.

The response to this new names has not been kind, as reported by The Register and MedCity News:
Siemens tried to express a grand vision with this corporatespeak-laden statement from CEO Bernd Montag:

“Our new brand is a bold signal for our ambition and expresses our identity as a people company – 45,000 employees worldwide who are passionate about empowering healthcare providers to optimally serve their patients.”

But it’s hard to get past the fact that the name Healthineers evokes Disney’s Imagineers or, worse, Mouseketeers. Maybe if Siemens hired Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears as spokespeople? (Unfortunately, Annette Funicello died in 2013.)
However, at least one columnist has attempted to reframe the rebrand as no big deal. For added hilarity, Siemens Healthineers has acquired the redundantly named Neo New Oncology. No word on whether that firm will also receive an exciting new rebrand.
posted by Existential Dread (77 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Remember the good old days when clicking on a video link of spandex-clad dancers meant you might see something sexy?

Not if Siemens has anything to do with it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:02 AM on May 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Simply the best.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:03 AM on May 17, 2016


I've never been happier that I work for Beckman-Coulter.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:03 AM on May 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


They had a 50/50 shot and changed the wrong word. Genius.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:04 AM on May 17, 2016 [96 favorites]


See now, when my SF class read Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, everyone was all "ha ha NuSkins is a really dumb name for a corporation, so is RejoovenEsence, this is dumb" (my feeling was that it wasn't dumb, it was estrangement, a la the stupid names in Barthelme) but no, reality exceeds our ability to describe it. (Also a common theme in SF.)
posted by Frowner at 11:04 AM on May 17, 2016 [30 favorites]


I've never been happier that I work for Beckman-Coulter.

Do mefites get discounts? I've always wanted a tabletop centrifuge.
posted by Frowner at 11:05 AM on May 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


When your company name is already a homophone for a noun meaning ejaculate, you'd think you had nowhere to go but up.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:05 AM on May 17, 2016 [22 favorites]


I think it was quite clever to turn everything on its head and, for once, have spandex ruin siemens.
posted by Kabanos at 11:10 AM on May 17, 2016 [72 favorites]


Healthineers evokes Disney’s Imagineers or, worse, Mouseketeers

The first thing I thought of was Martinis.
posted by carter at 11:14 AM on May 17, 2016


46 days too late, people.
posted by Etrigan at 11:16 AM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I watched the video without sound before I made my joke about spandex before. Listening to it with sound, I have to report that somehow the song is even worse than I'd imagined.

Kinda want a gimp suit with a ponytail to whip around though.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:16 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


They got their name from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs II. Nice.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:19 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


"You know what adult employees love and are totally motivated by? Being treated like children!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:20 AM on May 17, 2016 [21 favorites]


Healthineers evokes Disney’s Imagineers or, worse, Mouseketeers

Shut your mouth! Imagineers are some of the most amazing people ever.
posted by xingcat at 11:21 AM on May 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


But it’s hard to get past the fact that the name Healthineers evokes Disney’s Imagineers or, worse, Mouseketeers.

Or worse yet, Idiocracy.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:21 AM on May 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Medicateers was the runner-up choice.
posted by briank at 11:21 AM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


At the very least, it's nice that the composer of the theme song to Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors is still getting work.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:23 AM on May 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was an Imagineer for a while and you'd be amazed at how many people would say in hushed tones, "Are you... an Imagineer?" when they found out I worked at Disney. I think the magic word was "Disney" rather than "Imagineer", though.

(High-five to xingcat on preview.)
posted by dfan at 11:25 AM on May 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


When I worked at Subway my friends enjoyed calling me "the Sandwich Artist" in tones that were decidedly not hushed.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:28 AM on May 17, 2016 [30 favorites]


I worked in the legal department at a major healthcare company, and at one point we had to nix a promo video that was shot by the marketing department. It was filled with the most cringe-worthy, awkward rapping from a bunch of white people, with super cheesy zooms and music production from what sounded like Wesley Willis' Casio keyboard. If it had made it out into the public, it would have gone viral and we'd have been the laughingstock of the internet. So none of this surprises me. It's par for the course with this industry.
posted by naju at 11:29 AM on May 17, 2016 [27 favorites]


complete with an anodyne theme-song led by spandex-clad dancers.

Expected the Solid Gold dancers, got sub-Intel Bunny People.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:31 AM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Relax Liz. This procedure was developed by some of the world's finest Healthineers." -Dr. Leo Spaceman*

*this may have been Dr. Nick Riveria
posted by cmfletcher at 11:31 AM on May 17, 2016 [24 favorites]


I saw Siemens Healthineers live in concert once. They're kinda MOR folk-rock.

Srsly, the consultant who came up with this name also told Instagram to change their logo.
posted by NorthernLite at 11:33 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kabanos: "I think it was quite clever to turn everything on its head and, for once, have spandex ruin siemens."

STOP THE THREAD! It has already been won.
posted by BentFranklin at 11:35 AM on May 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


I saw Siemens Healthineers live in concert once. They're kinda MOR folk-rock.

I look forward to avoiding their tour with Mumford & Sons.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:37 AM on May 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Neo New Oncology has been renamed Siemens Cancineers.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:52 AM on May 17, 2016 [24 favorites]


Jesus, how did nobody think of this in the sabotage manual thread from a couple days ago?

we stand revealed as rank amateurs
posted by Naberius at 11:55 AM on May 17, 2016 [12 favorites]


at one point we had to nix a promo video that was shot by the marketing department

why do these people have this job?

seriously, after about five seconds of the video i was like, why do the people who made this have this job??

although, i guess that actually i should be grateful when marketing is out of touch and ridiculous, rather than actually being good at their jobs.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:56 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think this shows a lot of spunk, and I'm glad they chose to release it into the world. I'm sure they spent a wad of cash on this shot, but it was clearly worth it.

Ejaculate.
posted by skullhead at 11:59 AM on May 17, 2016 [38 favorites]


Okay, the dancing was a bit forced and awkward, but not as scattershot as the Chevy Volt Dance.

I'm thinking they chose Healthineers to draw away from the fact that their other division, Siemens Nixdorf, makes cash registers and point-of-sale equipment.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:02 PM on May 17, 2016


This is not just hyperbole. That video nauseated me. Like, I felt legitimately, physically ill.

Because I've never worked for that company, but oh yes, I so very have. It's one of those companies where you're pretty much on call 24-7 but aren't paid commensurately, where half of your job is fucked up politics that get in the way of your actual work. Where you are required to dress like an asshole and talk like an asshole at least fifty hours a week, and everyone is miserable because they work in a giant barrel of moist assholes.

And when the muckety mucks notice how miserable everyone is, they decide it's probably because they're not totalitarian enough, so they make everyone stop what they're doing and go to some offensively chirpy thing to chant slogans and get some gross swag they're then required to display prominently. And in the worst case scenarios, like this one, they further subsume your identity under some meaningless corporate branding.

And then they pretend they gave you a fun day off, but they never reduce your workload to accommodate it.

I hope all those buttwads sitting up there on the stage in their stupid clown hats and shit stub their toes every single day for the rest of their lives. And also their toes have a really persistent fungus.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:02 PM on May 17, 2016 [42 favorites]


They just missed the Eurovision finals, AGAIN, damn!
posted by infini at 12:06 PM on May 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm thinking they chose Healthineers to draw away from the fact that their other division, Siemens Nixdorf, makes cash registers and point-of-sale equipment.

Soon to be know as the Siemens Cash-tanets
posted by rtimmel at 12:11 PM on May 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


So do they just make hearing aids and shit now?
posted by howfar at 12:16 PM on May 17, 2016


Oooh can’t wait to see how this is going to be translated in other languages. That’s another concern that was clearly overlooked by a well-known global brand, how clever!
posted by bitteschoen at 12:20 PM on May 17, 2016


So do they just make hearing aids and shit now?

They make a lot of stuff. Hearing aids. Lab automation robots. MRI machines. X-ray machines.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:21 PM on May 17, 2016


"OK, we've got a song written and recorded, a big stage with giant video screens, costumes, so what kind of dance should we do"?

"I was thinking just kind of jump around randomly and wave your arms, or whatever you feel like"

"Great idea, I like it"
posted by bongo_x at 12:28 PM on May 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


'Metafilterneers'
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:29 PM on May 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yes, it's a long fall from what Landscapes of Capital calls the "This And This Anthem," the Siemens ad I always liked, mostly for its sort of vague evocation of Ray Of Light-era Madonna.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:33 PM on May 17, 2016


Metafilter: a giant barrel of moist assholes.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:36 PM on May 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oooh can’t wait to see how this is going to be translated in other languages.

Saludalleros
Santilliers
Zdorovniks
Gesundheiteren
posted by Rock Steady at 12:38 PM on May 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Wouldn't that be Gesundheitherren?
posted by nickmark at 12:45 PM on May 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


the most cringe-worthy, awkward rapping

Worse than this?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:46 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


The video was uploaded to YouTube May 5, but I can't tell exactly when it was shot, and Siemens' stock experienced ~5% drop from April 27 to May 3, which might be consistent with an inner circle finding out what was coming and the wider market reacting to that, though it would be an under-reaction, in my opinion.

Oh well, maybe some people don't mind investing in a laughing stock.
posted by jamjam at 12:48 PM on May 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Speaking of anodyne corporate anthems, there was a period of time in which someone sold the Big Four accountancy firms on the notion that "Yes, you too need a company song!"
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:51 PM on May 17, 2016


"You know what adult employees love and are totally motivated by? Being treated like children!"

The depressing thing about that video is that many of the adult employees in the crowd were excited enough about the presentation to be filming it on their cellphones.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:53 PM on May 17, 2016


Or wanted their supervisors to think that they were excited enough about the presentation to be filming it on their cellphones.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:55 PM on May 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


> The depressing thing about that video is that many of the adult employees in the crowd were excited enough about the presentation to be filming it on their cellphones.

Yes, but were they excited in a "I have drunk the Kool-Aid and legitimately think this is awesome" way, or a "my friends are going to shit their pants laughing when they see this stupid bullshit" way?
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:56 PM on May 17, 2016 [25 favorites]


The depressing thing about that video is that many of the adult employees in the crowd were excited enough about the presentation to be filming it on their cellphones.

When I watched it I was madly scanning the crowd for any sign of ironic filming. Jury's still out, but they looked kinda earnest, IMO.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:56 PM on May 17, 2016


They're probably just relieved the suggestion for "Siemenauts" got voted down by an exec committee.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:03 PM on May 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


The only corporate motivational tactic that actually worked was Howie Makem, The Quality Cat, and even that sort of backfired and didn't work the way it was supposed to:

Howie would make the rounds poking his floppy whiskers in and out of each department. A "Howie sighting" was always cause for great fanfare. The workers would scream and holler and jump up and down on their workbenches whenever Howie drifted by. Howie Makem may have begun as just another Company ploy to prod the tired legions, but most of us ran with the joke and soon Howie evolved into a crazy phenomenon.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:06 PM on May 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


The one good thing about the spandex is, because their faces are disguised those poor dancers might still be able to find paying jobs elsewhere.
posted by easily confused at 1:12 PM on May 17, 2016


"Siemenauts"

*cough* there's a new program in the building next door that resembles this name. Bet they thought it was cool and fun and trendy and I hope nobody who works there is reading this
posted by infini at 1:13 PM on May 17, 2016


It's crying out for a remix. Here's a KPMG one. Bring the noise
posted by pipeski at 1:13 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


So weird seeing so many of my Grindr handles in one MetaFilter thread.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:41 PM on May 17, 2016 [17 favorites]


I would love to get some of the people in that marketing department into a bar and get them drunk and talking. I bet there's a horrifying story of executive "creativity" behind it.
posted by emjaybee at 2:16 PM on May 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


Medicateers was the runner-up choice.

How did no one go for Healthy McHealthface?
posted by nubs at 2:23 PM on May 17, 2016 [27 favorites]


I am in no way related to the company, but this happens to be my last name, really. And thought I left the bratty jokes behind in grade seven. Guess not. Just needed to hit up metafilter for that regular ole dose of juvenalia.
posted by nanook at 2:32 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Healthy McHealthface?

Must...resist...another...Siemens...joke....aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggh!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:32 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


“Our ... 45,000 employees worldwide who are passionate about empowering healthcare providers to optimally serve their patients.”

This would read even better if they rebranded their client "healthcare providers" to "our Doc Stars!"
posted by bendybendy at 2:33 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Speaking of anodyne corporate anthems, there was a period of time in which someone sold the Big Four accountancy firms on the notion that "Yes, you too need a company song!"

Ladies and gentlemen, our corporate anthem
posted by nubs at 2:34 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sssssspunky?

Wow. That hurt a lot more than anticipated. This thread totally downplayed it.
posted by petebest at 2:48 PM on May 17, 2016


Nanook, are you by any chance related to the Baltimore Healthineers?
posted by Pinback at 3:11 PM on May 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


Came for the Siemens jokes, stayed for the corpo-executive culture-commentary.
posted by a good beginning at 3:46 PM on May 17, 2016


The name was unveiled in a cheesy public event, complete with an anodyne theme-song led by spandex-clad dancers yt

I am currently career-free, and seeing this sort of thing makes me never want to have a job again.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:48 PM on May 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


The health care industry loves renaming things. My theory, from years working with these people, is that they are the marketing and design firm creative culls sifted down into health care fields because even Old Navy has standards.
posted by Chitownfats at 3:56 PM on May 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Serious question: Has anyone here ever gone to a big room event by their company where they spent millions of dollars having some executives do some stuff, and showed some videos, and maybe played some inoffensive music, and walked out thinking "I can't wait to get back to work on Monday!"

because WHO ARE YOU?
posted by lumpenprole at 4:07 PM on May 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Having been through several rebrands and been sick of each rebrand by the launch, I think it's all just a very elaborate way to justify some very expensive team dinners and a few bullets on executive resumes.
posted by mochapickle at 4:10 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Serious question: Has anyone here ever gone to a big room event by their company where they spent millions of dollars having some executives do some stuff, and showed some videos, and maybe played some inoffensive music, and walked out thinking "I can't wait to get back to work on Monday!"

because WHO ARE YOU?


Yes but it was 10 years ago for a company that no longer exists and we would have quarterly all hands at 7am at a country club and there was ALL THE FREE BREAKFAST WE COULD EAT. I can be bought with no dress code and unlimited pancakes and bacon.
posted by asockpuppet at 4:39 PM on May 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


How did no one go for Healthy McHealthface?

Siemens McSiemensface led to mass firings.
posted by Chitownfats at 4:52 PM on May 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


The Year of the Siemens Healthineer-designed Total Body McCheckuperson
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:15 PM on May 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


No such thing as bad PR, some would say. How many of you who don't work in Healthcare had had ever heard of Siemens Health before?
posted by Lukenlogs at 8:34 PM on May 17, 2016


Serious question: Has anyone here ever gone to a big room event by their company where they spent millions of dollars having some executives do some stuff, and showed some videos, and maybe played some inoffensive music, and walked out thinking "I can't wait to get back to work on Monday!"

Yes, but I worked (indirectly) for Richard Branson who is the most charming, dynamic, friendly business guy you could ever meet. Besides that? Hells to the no.
posted by bendy at 11:31 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


My brother worked for a big insurance company that changed its name from something intelligible and staid to a mouthful of syllables, which the employees thought sounded like the name of a pesticide. Not an improvement.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:51 AM on May 18, 2016


Siemens Hot Shots
posted by Kabanos at 9:36 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


No such thing as bad PR, some would say. How many of you who don't work in Healthcare had had ever heard of Siemens Health before?

How many of us here are managing a hospital or a lab or in any role in charge of deciding which company to go to when we need, hmm, lab testing equipment or hemostasis systems or magnetic resonance machines for radiation therapy?

They’re not selling the kind of products that anyone can buy on the internet, I doubt the stupid name change is going to affect sales to their typical clients either way. Makes it even more stupid though... I cannot imagine anyone in charge of buying equipment for oncology going "oooh should we buy the cheaper machine from this other brand or from the new exciting rebranded siemens ooh this is so much fun! it’s going to cheer up our cancer patients!"

Gesundheiteren

At least that would have made sense because they’re Germans but I guess if the choice was between scary and stupid then I can see why they went with that.
(I read something in German about how workers in Erlangen are unhappy about this and interviewed managers were being very evasive and saying well it’s the product that matters... )
posted by bitteschoen at 1:44 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


This made me Sickadacious.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:03 PM on May 22, 2016


« Older ¡Sí se pudo!   |   You'll have an average lifespan. Don't be upset.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments