Top 10 Brand Disasters of 2011

Blackwater (Xe) Goes Soft
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3. Blackwater (Xe) Goes Soft

Time was that security contractors had macho brands, like "Blackwater," a name that sounds like a Marvel super-villain with bulging biceps. Accusations that its employees were trigger-happy forced the firm to change its name to "Xe," but apparently have an incomprehensible brand wasn't weak enough. The firm has now changed it name to "Academi," a brand based upon Plato's Academy, which represents "excellence, dignity, discipline, honor, integrity," according to the firm's CEO. Fair enough, but wasn't Plato's Academy also famous for being, well, the exact opposite of butch? Not that there's anything wrong with that ...

Lesson: Sometimes rebranding just makes a firm look silly.