Emerging Egencia – a brand newish name in on-line travel

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It’s not a new drug, Egencia. It’s the new name for Expedia’s business travel unit, Expedia Corporate Travel, which on Monday announced it will officially become Egencia, An Expedia Inc. company.

The name is an ugly one, a made-up Latin name, and that always sends a warning to this old Latinist that a company is being renamed so that it can be sold. The company’s president, Jean-Pierre Remy, swears this ain’t so. Instead it’s a way for further definition in the marketplace. Our friend Henry Harteveldt of Forrester Research suggests that “the new name provides the company enough independence from the ‘Mother E’ that the business travel unit could be positioned down the line either for a sale or spin-off. At the same time, it’s possible that the company wants to make ‘Expedia’ stand for nothing but B2C and that they want the business travel unit to have its own identity and value in the business travel marketplace.”

 

 


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Expedia also owns and will incorporate into Egencia its Seat Guru, the color-coded interactive chart service that lets people check out airplane seats; and Trip Advisor, which gives unbiased hotel reviews. Egencia’s also rolling out a new unused-ticket performance reporting tool that searches tickets that are about to expire and evaluates credits. It launched a preferred program that now includes air and car rentals as well as hotel rates. These, says Henry, are the most important things, beyond a name:  the vital thing, he says, is that Expedia have the reporting tools and so on that an on-line agency needs.

Egencia was first made up about five years ago, when it was applied to a French corporate agency that Expedia bought. Egencia was supposed to become Expedia, but….

Travolution blogger Kevin May says he hopes this will not be a repeat of the fiasco of the Royal Mail renaming itself Consignia, a name so silly that it was changed back within a year.

 

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19 Responses to Emerging Egencia – a brand newish name in on-line travel

  1. Johnny Johansonmeister July 18, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    Yo David,

    How about names like Microsoft, Boeing, Adobe or Cisco…..anyone, if they had enough time on their hands could come up with lame comments about the company name….but their names stick, are well known and profitable. I can say that yes, Egencia may sound like a pharmaceutical drug, but it’s got more pizazz than “expedia corporate travel”…..and sometimes a little face lift is what a company needs to separate itself from “well known” daddy and establish a name for itself based on what they offer to their clients independantly and not what the entire organization offers. Under Expedia inc. they’ve got hotwire, hotels.com and many others…..and they’ve established themselves in the travel market in their own way…..as is what Egencia is continuing to do. You think Egencia sounds any better than Expedia?? All brands take time to grow on you…don’t knock it!!

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