The Name Change. It’s a huge decision, no doubt. Some companies put it off for years, even though they know that the name of their company is not just holding them back from achieving their big vision, but is actually detrimental to business. There are lots of factors that should go into making the decision, most importantly the brand equity and reputation the current name holds and the resources available to shift to a new name. To that point, there are lots of big companies that have made the leap albeit backed by big marketing budgets. And for various reasons.
In 2000 Andersen Consulting split from its accounting group and was forced to change its name. The new name, Accenture, was widely considered to be one of the worst corporate rebrands ever…until the Enron scandal broke and the name Arthur Andersen went down in flames. Accenture then stood on its own, untainted by scandal.
Remember that jet that crashed in the Florida Everglades in 1996? That was ValueJet. The result was major legal and financial trouble for the brand. In response, they purchased an even smaller aviation company and rebranded under its name, AirTran. Problem solved!
Not all name changes involve scandal — some improved brand equity immeasurably. Who remembers Diet Deluxe? Sound like anything you’d be interested in? But Healthy Choice has taken off since the company changed not the product, just the name. Check in on your gut response to Datsun versus Nissan. A brand can be given a fresh start with a new name, opening the door to growth and market share.
The name represents the leading edge of the brand positioning, so incorporating a rename into the full scope of rebranding is critical. Here’s how we fit it into the brand revolution process.
- Brand Positioning. We start with the positioning and platform determined from the Brand R&D process.
- Naming R&D. We do another set of research looking solely at names within your industry, current and historical.
- New Name Requirements. We determine what will be required of the new name based on your goals, the brand positioning, current industry trends, etc.
- The Long List. We brainstorm a long list of possible names, bucket in various ways, to be presented and reviewed with our recommendations for a specific direction.
- The Short List. We refine the long list to a list of five candidates that will be subject to a preliminary trademark search and domain name possibilities.
- Preliminary Trademark Research & URL Options. In this Internet age, would you believe one of the biggest challenges is securing a new name that not only can be trademarked within your industry, but also can be included in a URL that makes sense! That’s why you find many made-up names like Google. And Skype.
- Final Name. The final name has passed the prelim trademark search, and we’ve found a URL that will work with the new name. It’s looking like a green light.
- Attorney Trademark Review. The final name goes to an attorney for comprehensive trademarking process. We get to design a logo!
- Launch. We will come up with a plan to help you launch the new name to your existing and potential customers.
Our clients frequently find that what once seemed daunting at the beginning of the process is a no-brainer by the end. Here are two examples of our work.