Are you considering changing the name of your organization, product or service? What justifies the effort and cost involved in renaming the business? If you decide to rebrand, what should the new name be? Check out a proven methodology for re-defining strong brands.
The decision to rename an organization is a big one – and one that often gives rise to conflicting emotions, legal issues, marketing challenges and cost implications. At the same time, renaming also presents an organization with a unique opportunity to establish a fresh and unique brand, boost visibility, ensure differentiation, and convey a new story about the business.
As you consider a new name, the first question to ask is whether there is indeed a compelling reason for the change. The four most common reasons for renaming an organization are:
- The historical name of the organization no longer supports the current mission or strategy.
- The name is not unique or directly related.
- You are commonly known by an acronym that is hard to remember or pronounce.
- You missed the boat in securing relevant URLs.
The historical name of the organization no longer supports the current mission or strategy.
Sometimes organizations outgrow their descriptive names as they expand or evolve. Take The Fairmount Group’s client formerly named Euclid Avenue Congregational Church. After being in Cleveland for more than 140 years, last year the church relocated to a massive new campus in a neighboring suburb. After we helped members understand their options, the congregation wisely voted to change the name to South Euclid United Church of Christ to reflect both its new permanent location and its official religious denomination.
The name is not unique or directly related.
Descriptive names are great unless they are too generic. If your business name is The Chocolate Shoppe or The Nail Spa, clients may have trouble recalling your brand or identifying you in a sea of competitors. When Preformed Line Products (PLP) understood they needed a more consumer-friendly go to market name for its line of fencing products, they turned to The Fairmount Group. We established and launched the new Ranchmate brand into the agricultural marketplace. Learn more about our work with Ranchmate.
You are commonly known by an acronym that is hard to remember or pronounce.
Companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations are all guilty of relying on an alphabet soup of brands. While it is may be easy to remember a nationally-known group like YWCA, other groups struggle being known by their abbreviated nicknames. For example, Transitional Housing Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to ending the cycle of homelessness in our community, had become commonly referred to by the acronym of THI. When the organization needed to rebrand due to a shift in strategy, we ensured their new name would be one that would be reduced to an acronym. new name of Front Steps Housing & Services, which we developed along with messaging about its new mission, is being well received across the community.
You missed the boat in securing relevant URLs.
To be relevant in today’s digital world, you must be easily found online. As we always say at The Fairmount Group, if you can’t be found, you don’t exist. If you haven’t been able to secure a URL or social media accounts that make sense for your brand, it might be time to consider a name change. When helping clients establish a new brand, we research and secure the best options for online identification.