SciFi Channel will soon have a new name.
It has been rumored for a couple years that NBC Universal was looking to rebrand its property, but now it seems they have a name that works perfectly for it: Syfy.
Monday, NBCU is expected to announce the new name that will help the conglomerate have a brand name it can own (unlike “SciFi,” which is considered too common of a term). The new name will begin usage July 7, according to The New York Times, and will include a change of its Web site from scifi.com to syfy.com.
“We couldn’t own SciFi; it’s a genre,” said Bonnie Hammer, the president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions. “But we can own Syfy.”
NBCU says it had an internal marketing team develop the name. However, readers of this site most likely are aware that the new name has a direct similarity to its former brand, SyFy Portal. Quantum Global Media Inc., rebranded this site last month to Airlock Alpha, leaving behind the “Syfy” brand, and selling it to an undisclosed entity.
The new name will be joined by the slogan “Imagine Greater,” and it seems the Saturn-shaped logo is going to be gone.
SciFi Channel got its name in 1992, but Syfy will go in front of advertisers Monday during its upfronts with advertisers.
“If you ask people their default perceptions of SciFi, they list space, aliens and the future,” said current SciFi Channel president Dave Howe. “That didn’t capture the full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes.”
But one thing SciFi Channel has to be careful of is what happens sometimes when companies try to change their brands. The Times itself warned about how PepsiCo recently tried to change the package of its popular Tropicana juice only to get negative pushback.
Of course, Airlock Alpha itself has changed its name indirectly because of this, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Quantum Global Media Inc., the owner of Airlock Alpha, said the change was necessary to allow the site to remain a science-fiction site, but at the same time, not have to spell it out so directly to readers. It also will be a main element in the upcoming BlipNetwork that is being formed with Airlock Alpha, the existing horror news site Rabid Doll and the upcoming television news site Inside Blip.
“The testing we’ve done [on Syfy] has been incredibly positive,” Howe said. “If I were texting, this is how I would spell it.”