SAIC is one of those awkward corporate initialisms you just want to avoid. Do you try to say it (say-ick), or spell it out letter-by-letter?
It stands for Science Applications International Corp, a name that tells you little more than the initials.
No matter. SAIC is an American contracting company that you’ll probably never have a need to call.
In what is a difficult market for government services, SAIC has decided to split itself into two to ‘enhance’ shareholder value. The smaller of the two companies will keep the name SAIC and stay focused on its core business.
The other entity will be spun off as a new company focusing on technology for the national security, health and engineering sectors. So here is a chance for SAIC, or a part of it, to come out from behind its anonymity and say something to the market about what it stands for and why it exists.
In a press release SAIC explains that the origin of the name Leidos is to be found hidden in the word kaleidoscope and “reflects the company’s effort to unite solutions from different angles.”
If, like me, you are having trouble trying to figure out how solutions can be united from different angles, try this wonderful piece of PR hyperbole:
“It’s a memorable word with dynamic connotations that capture the energy, talent and passion that our employees bring as they work to deliver solutions that protect our nation, our communities, and our families.”
Leidos (Lydos, Laydos? Leedos?) is a coinage that has the primary virtue of being (presumably) available. As a name it connotes nothing at all. Nothing. And why should it? It’s just a made-up name based on a piece of a word that, in and of itself, has no inherent meaning.
Eventually, with a lot of investment around a focused brand strategy, Leidos might begin to contain ‘dynamic connotations that capture the energy, talent and passion of our employees”.
Until then, the company should begin to figure out who it is and why people on whom it depends should care about its existence, and not depend on an unremarkable six-letter word to do all the explaining.
The Washington Post weighs in: http://tinyurl.com/b4mqq3b