July 20, 2016
So what’s in a name anyway? A name can be a very powerful tool, especially when it comes to the name of your company. The name becomes the face of your business, and everything associated with your business becomes attached to it. If your target audience recognizes your company, knows what you do, and thinks positively of your business, then it’s probably best to keep the name. However, if this is not the case, then it might be time to consider rebranding. If any of the following apply to your company, you could benefit from reassessing your identity.
1. Your Name is No Longer Relevant
Does your company’s name accurately describe what you do? Maybe it used to, but your business has grown or diversified and the name no longer fits. Sometimes, a company expands so much that its name no longer represents the scope of its capabilities. For example, IBM was once called the “Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company” before it rebranded to “International Business Machines Corporation” (IBM for short) to accurately represent the company’s geographic and functional expansion. The opposite can be true as well. Maybe your company used to have a wide range of capabilities or served many different areas, but now you have specialized to serve one specific purpose or region. In this case, your business may need a more illustrative name to better represent your mission.
2. Your Name has a Bad Reputation
Unfortunately, mistakes happen, and sometimes a major scandal or PR issue can destroy the brand image that you worked so hard to build. Or maybe the bad reputation was not gained from any one big mistake, but just grew over time. That’s what happened with Domino’s when the company realized that its pizza had a reputation of tasting like cardboard. In this case it is best to rethink your branding strategy, which is just what Domino’s did. The pizza professionals decided to redesign the business’s logo and took the word “pizza” out of its name, in addition to executing a huge campaign announcing that it had created a new, better pizza recipe. This rebranding increased sales because it provided a fresh start that gave people a more positive association with the company.
Sometimes, your company doesn’t have to do anything wrong to earn a negative association. The world is constantly changing, and something else with a similar name and a bad reputation can indirectly affect your business. One unfortunate example is a Belgian chocolate company called Italo Suisse that shortened its name to ISIS just before the terrorist group with the same name began to make global headlines. The company then immediately changed its name to Libeert before the mistaken association to the terrorist group would force it out of business.
3. The Name is too Long or Confusing
If the public cannot remember your name, spell it or pronounce it, then it might not be working for you. Likewise, if your name has little meaning or if you’ve ever been confused with another company, it’s probably time for a change. The best company names are those that are short and cannot be associated to any mayor companies. Also, you want it to be really easy to remember to get the most brand recognition.
4. Your Name is not Fit for the Internet
Finally, in today’s day and age it is crucial to have an Internet-friendly name. This means that your name is not something generic or difficult to spell, so that it can be easily searched for and rank at the top of online search engines. It’s also important to make sure your name will make a good URL. Sometimes a company name with more than one word might sound like something completely different when the words are stuck together in URL form. For instance, “Girl’s Talk” turns into “girlstalk,” and “Sheep’s Haven” becomes “sheepshaven.” See how these names could be misunderstood?
The bottom line is that a company’s name determines brand’s perception and ultimate success. If any of these four situations applies to you, a rebrand could be just the thing you need to get your business back on track. Call our South Florida marketing agency today to learn how your company can benefit from a full rebrand.