Bravissimo! A mining company skimps on its rebranding homework
The Australian arm of the Adani Group has announced a rebrand and would henceforth like to be known as Bravus. Best known for its involvement with Queensland’s controversial Carmichael coal mine, the company is adamant that it is NOT trying to shake off any environmental damage to its reputation, but wants a new name to reflect its courage and beliefs.
According to Adani’s CEO, the new name was chosen because it’s Latin for ‘brave’. Unfortunately, it turns out there’s no such word. The closest possibility is ‘bravo’ but that’s a medieval term for a sellsword. So instead of ‘fortis’ or ‘audax’ (ask any schoolboy), they’ve opted for a cod-Latin word which means something closer to ‘crooked’ or ‘mercenary’. It’s a far cry from the language of Virgil and Cicero!
Even odder, a spokeswoman went on to explain that the ‘-us’ suffix in Bravus highlights the ‘inclusive nature of us the company, us the employees and us the community.’ And the fact that it includes the letters AUS apparently signifies that it’s proud to be an Australian company. She sounds like she’s a whizz at crosswords, but could they possibly be overthinking it?
Just putting an ‘-us’ on the end of a word and trusting to luck won’t get you much further than a Monty Python sketch. Perhaps they were hoping a classical-sounding name would lend them an effortless air of erudite sophistication? It reminds us of the time the UK’s Royal Mail decided to go upmarket with ‘Consignia’. The new name hinted at ‘consign’ and ‘insignia’, they explained hopefully, and ‘describes the full scope of what the Post Office does in a way that the words ‘post’ and ‘office’ cannot’. Or something. Most people just noted that it was nearly the Spanish for ‘left luggage’ before it got, ahem, consigned to the dustbin of history.