Intel Sounds Death Knell for McAfee Brand Name

To rebrand software security suite from McAfee Security to Intel Security

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) has taken brand ownership of McAfee’s computer security software suite and plans to shift products that are currently available under the McAfee brand to the Intel Security name. The announcement was made by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at the Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on 8 January 2014.

shutterstock_92314504Intel Security will identify all Intel products and services in the security segment. The rebranding exercise will take up to a year for completion. All new products under the security segment will bear the Intel Security brand name. However, Intel has chosen to stick with the legendary red shield, which Intel says represents “the core values of security and protection”. In addition, Intel’s McAfee will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Founder destroyed brand image

Intel acquired McAfee in August 2010 for $7.7 billion in cash. The chip company paid $48 a share for McAfee, a whopping 60% premium for the antivirus software maker founded by John McAfee. Although rebranding of major products is very common after acquisitions, Intel’s massive rebranding effort leads one to believe that the move was prompted by founder John McAfee’s heading-grabbing antics over the years. This in turn drove Intel to disassociate the internet security brand’s image from that of its founder. Hence, Intel no longer wants to be associated with the McAfee brand name. John McAfee founded McAfee in 1987, but he has had nothing to do with the company for more than 15 years and is a vehement critic of the McAfee software over the years.

shutterstock_122193514In recent years, McAfee’s security software has witnessed intense competition from free security software suites. Moreover, the software has made a late entry into the iOS and Android segments, which is currently seeing rapid growth. In addition, it has gained negative perception among users for slowing down computers or not being able to function effectively. The rebranding effort is mainly aimed at mitigating these concerns.

The way forward

Intel had announced last year that it would bring about many changes in packaging and names. Its current rebranding effort will pave the way to distance its security software products from the bad publicity generated for the company by founder John McAfee. It will also help Intel to build the brand name, which has suffered a serious dent in the recent past, and its reputation among home and enterprise consumers.

Intel also announced plans to offer elements of McAfee’s security solutions for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices free of cost over the next three months. Later in 2014, it plans to introduce the new Intel Device Protection technology. This app will mainly cater to the corporate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) segment to help Intel-based Android mobile devices meet most security standards at home and work.

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