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Category → new names and logos

Styron Becoming Trinseo

A few months ago I posted the following about a conversation I had with Styron CEO Chris Pappas at the K Show:

“At the same time, he seemed miffed when I asked him at K about the styrene business cycle. He doesn’t want his company pigeonholed as a styrenics company. (I don’t know how I got that impression, considering that the company, along with ChevronPhillips, owns Americas Styrenics, one of the largest polystyrene makers in the world. Oh, and the name of the company is STYRon).”

In a move that either shows either my growing influence as a chemical industry thought leader, or that the styrene tag was getting on his nerves (I suspect it is the latter), Styron has changed its name to Trinseo.

“The name Styron is strongly tied to the styrenics chain – particularly polystyrene and styrene monomer, which are an important part of our company – but we are much more than that,” Pappas said in the press release. Translation: “The Styron name REALLY got under my skin.”

Like most names that seem to have been read from the punch card outputs of random digit generators, we are assured that the name has a very deep and meaningful connection to the company. “Trin” comes from “intrinsic”; “eo” comes from the root of the Latin verb “to go”. We also hear from the consultancy, Landor Associates, which made sure the new name didn’t mean something like “defiling your ancestors” in Cantonese.

“We chose Trinseo because it has the word ‘intrinsic’ at its root. For a company that creates materials used inside customer products, it’s absolutely relevant,” said Ken Runkel, executive director in Landor’s New York office.

I suppose it would probably be a great name for ALCOA and Weyerhaeuser, too. I really don’t want to make fun. This isn’t a bad name. And even a bad name would be better than Styron. Let’s face it, the name Styron was given to it by Dow, the company that sold the business. It probably wanted nothing more than to amplify to investors the point that it was selling off its old and clunky styrenics division.