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September 27, 2017

BRANDING | Company Renaming is a Mindfield | Part Two

5. Consider the gestalt of your brand, not just the name alone. Is your tagline up to date? Your mission? Your story? If it’s really a fresh start, don’t slap a coat of paint over rotten boards. Rethink logo, tagline, website, brand story, marcomm, signage, all facets of corporate identity. Are you adhering to – or breaking from – tradition? Will the design sensibility of your new identity speak of sophistication, or stability? Cutting edge, or comfort? (Hint: if your new logo has an orbit around it, many will snicker. We’re just sayin’.)

6. Make sure you won’t have to do it again soon. Did you outgrow your name? Could that happen again next year? Will the new name account for future acquisitions or redirection?

7. Are you supporting multiple brands? Should they be tied together, or kept apart? Can you afford to maintain multiple identities?

8. Focus on your prospects. Company insiders can be easily convinced. Current customers, distributors, vendors and partners are a finite audience, and you can talk to them clearly, directly, and often. But prospects are your lever to growth, so manage their perceptions above almost every other audience.

9. Pay close attention to SEO and social media. SEO for the findability needed to get your new name in front of prospects, social media to make sure that the increased visibility is adding to and improving your reputation. Reputation management is a crucial component of a successful renaming. Don’t be satisfied with good awareness numbers. The game is not over if people know you but don’t care.

10. Final approval should come from the CEO, not a committee. Committees have a lousy track record for writing symphonies, painting paintings, and naming companies.

Last but not least: Outsource the process. Company naming is not your basic business, not your core competency, so a branding agency will bring valuable objectivity, and more experience with processes, budgets, timetables, trademark laws, design and minefields. No, it doesn’t have to be Austin West, but (no offense) it shouldn’t be you. Call us at 415-933-0923.