Changing Your Brand’s Name is No Easy Task. Image by Wikipedia. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL.
It’s rough being a woman in business. Especially when you are single when you launch your company/brand. Because the day will come for many of us to have to change our name.
We see numerous celebrities simply keep their name while a few do make the switch. So do you create the hyphenated birth given name with your spouses or do you simply take on theirs?
Now I’m no celebrity, but having penned a marketing book being sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores, plus have appeared in various top media outlets. So what is a woman in business to do when the day arrives and she needs to decide how to handle her last name?
As my mind wandered over the possible solutions, it occurred to me I should probably take this task on like I would for any client doing the same. Many things to consider for both brand personalities and organizations making a change in their name, but really let’s just focus on simply the business considerations for now and not the marital ones. What should one consider when updating their brand’s name?
Changing your brand’s name is no overnight decision. In fact, it can be quit the daunting task. Clearly the right reasons are needed to warrant the change, but it is certainly doable and often makes sense as you will see below.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when updating your brand’s name:
- Consider the timing of changing the name. Making a move of this magnitude for your business should be done well in advanced of your typical busy sales cycle. It would make a very small dent in improvement for a retailer to change their name in the middle of the Christmas season. Be sure to start in a time where sales are often slower for you and competitors. Also, keep in mind once you feel your customers have lost a connection or relevance of your brand to their needs, it is a good time to change things up.
- Be sure the new name will reflect an automatic association to your product or service offerings. This is where you draw the line and decide if you want an abstract name, ownership name or a name to reflect services offered. Such as Relational Software who is now Oracle or ValueJet Airlines to AirTran.
- Changing just a name will be fruitless to your customers if you are not offering new things as well with this drastic change. Does the name change indicate new services or products? How you shake stale relationships up by remaining useful to your demographics is something to carefully consider.
- Review the marketplace for other names similar to your possible new one. You will not want customers to get you confused or assume some new association amongst yourself and the other company. More importantly you do not want to end up on the wrong end of an infringement case claiming you are using a trademarked term. So be sure to check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and WHOIS.
- Develop a plan to communicate this change with your customers. Ensure you cover all avenues of outreach to your existing database as well as sharing the information with the public through the media. Do not leave either party in the dark. If you do, this will negate any efforts of changing the name and keeping loyal customers.
You may wonder, why would you want to make a name change? Could you imagine saying, “I’m going to go BackRub that topic and get back to you”? BackRub, being the original name for Google. Clearly Quantum Computer Services, now known as America Online, was another positive name change despite their fall in the marketplace.
Names bring forth emotional ties. A relationship is build with a name. People learn to count on the name to automatically mean one thing. Transforming a name means a change in the relationship with your demographics. It is important for brands to handle recreating a relationship with care. Even more importantly is the fact names have stories surrounding them.
In making a change in a brand’s name what new stories can be told should be something heavily considered throughout the process. To go further, one can expect the new stories to be embraced even more if the right new offerings accompany it and the current customer base is in-the-know.
While I will not tackle if a woman should change her last name or not, but looking at it from a business perspective of a branded personality truly does provide a lot of things to consider.
What do you think? About changing a brand’s name, not a woman changing her last name. The latter is a personal choice, don’t you think?
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5 Things to Consider When Updating Your Brand’s Name