Varcoe: Hi Veren, see you Crescent Point Energy, with a name change.

‘We have completely transformed the organization into a different business. It’s time for a new name.’

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Do you remember the name Encana? How about IPL Energy or TransCanada?

These companies, once well established in Alberta, decided to rebrand and become Ovintiv, Enbridge and TC Energy.

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Add Crescent Point Energy to the mix of Calgary-based companies that are about to take on a different corporate name: Veren Inc.

See you later, Crescent Point.

“There is nothing wrong with the name. It was a big name and a big company and it had a good story. For us, we have completely transformed the organization into a different business,” Crescent Point CEO Craig Bryksa said in an interview.

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“It’s time for a new name.”

At the company’s investor day meeting in Calgary this week, Bryksa announced the move and explained that Veren combines the Latin word “veritas,” which means truth, with energy.

If approved by shareholders in May, the company will also adopt a new symbol and logo: a circle with three colored “bursts” inside it that form the letter ‘V’.

“You go through a series of different names and what fits and what doesn’t,” he added.

“So that’s where the truth and energy for what we build (comes from). “We really like the name.”

Craig Bryksa, CEO of Crescent Point Energy
Craig Bryksa, CEO of Crescent Point Energy. Supplied

Crescent Point, one of the country’s largest oil producers, has been busy rebuilding since Bryksa took over from co-founder and former CEO Scott Saxberg in 2018.

It didn’t take long for people on social media to weigh in on the name change.

Some recalled Encana’s high-profile rebranding. Once Canada’s largest public company by market capitalization, it adopted the Ovintiv moniker in 2019.

“The name change from Crescent Point to Veren is giving me serious Ovintiv vibes,” William Lacey, an industry veteran and former analyst, wrote on X.

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“People tend to try to be clever with these names. And I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with Crescent Point,” Lacey said in an interview.

“What is a Veren? “It’s not like I’ll explain it to you.”

However, before it was formed more than two decades ago, what did Crescent Point represent?

In an interview, Saxberg said the name was related to the road leading to his grandfather’s cabin, which was built in the early 20th century northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Saxberg, now head of private energy company Cache Island Corp., is not surprised that Crescent Point is adopting a new name, “they just didn’t do it before” to highlight the next phase of its evolution.

“It is our tradition in the oil industry to create names that have meaning for the company and the staff,” he said.

“It’s important to build that culture in the company, put your stamp on it and get everyone on board with it.”

However, it can be difficult to effectively change the name of a well-established company with a new one, marketing experts say.

The new name should be unique and not easily confused with other groups, said Dan Bergeron, marketing partner at Everbrave, a Calgary firm working on branding and name changes.

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It should also reflect the company’s values.

The word Veren is a bit abstract, but “it makes some points about what a good name should be: short and relatively memorable,” Bergeron said.

“This is a very drastic measure to change the name of companies of this size. It is not something easy to do or to carry out in the market. Therefore, it has to be done for very strategic reasons.”

Organizations often choose abstract names to be distinctive, said AnneMarie Dorland, an assistant professor who teaches marketing and branding at Mount Royal University.

“If you have to explain the name, it can be a little burdensome for the audience,” he said.

“There is a lot of research related to how to make a name sticky, what makes it stick to our minds and memories.”

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Former IPL Energy CEO Brian MacNeill is familiar with the challenge. He remembers the tremendous preparation needed to turn the company into Enbridge in 1998.

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It made the change to reflect its expansion beyond the pipeline business and to avoid confusion with a similarly named company in Quebec.

“To start, you have to think of a name that no one else is using. And in the case of foreign (languages), you have to make sure that it doesn’t say something very different when you translate it,” MacNeill said Friday.

“Probably the hardest part was getting some consensus on a name. . . We determined that Enbridge made the most sense: it was the “energy bridge.” “

In recent years, Crescent Point has become a “radically different company” through a series of strategic moves designed to give it longer-lived assets and improve its prospects, said Eric Nuttall, senior portfolio manager at Ninepoint Partners. one of the largest companies in the company. shareholders.

Under Bryksa, it took steps to pay down its debt and then moved into new operating areas, buying properties in Spartan Delta’s Montney formation last spring and then acquiring Hammerhead Energy.

“The name change indicates their desire to stand on their own two feet, so to speak,” Nuttall said.

“But it is cosmetic: the real change has occurred at the asset level.”

For Bryksa, the journey began several years ago with a new direction.

Now she is about to take on a new name: Veren.

“We didn’t want to change the name of the company. “We wanted to end up changing the name of the company as we made the transformation,” he said.

“It’s a good time to rebrand it.”

Chris Varcoe is a columnist for the Calgary Herald.

[email protected]

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