Changing your company name requires careful consideration and planning to achieve a successful outcome for your business. However, making this kind of change in your company can be important especially when your current brand might be holding you back from your future goals. If you are thinking about changing your company name, read this article and find out whether or not you should consider changing your company name and the steps on how to achieve this transition smoothly.
Reasons to change your company name:
People can’t pronounce or spell your brand name
If your company ever gets mistaken for a business that is similar to yours or people are having difficulty pronouncing or spelling your name, you might want to consider changing your company name to something else that is more memorable and unique. Your company name matters a lot as it is arguably the most important component when it comes to brand recognition. If people are having trouble pronouncing your name or spelling it, chances are they will not remember it either.
Try keeping your name simple and not too complicated. A good example is Yahoo which was originally named “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web”. Chances are this brand would most likely not have been as recognised as it is today had it kept its original name.
A product and industry change
Businesses often look for change when it comes to expanding their company. If you change core products or services, or you have moved into a new industry, this might mean that you should consider a new name especially if the brand specifically refers to what you do. An example of this would be if your company is called “Jack’s Paint”. If you are moving away from paint and you now only do waterproofing, you would need to change your name. However, if your company name is “Jack’s Construction”, you would be able to keep the same name as it does not suggest that you offer painting services.
A legacy name that no longer works
Sometimes company names that are named after people stand the test of time. Many companies choose to name their company after the founder’s name, seen commonly in law firms, accounting firms, etc. There are companies named after people that are now very famous such as Johnson & Johnson, Walt Disney, McDonald’s, etc. Essentially, you must ask yourself if your company has name recognition or legacy. If the answer is no, it might be worthwhile to change your company name.
It’s too generic or mediocre
Your company name needs to stick in people’s minds. Try not make your company name boring and forgettable as this might give you a tough time gaining recognition for your company. Companies that use acronyms, for example, could run the risk of people people confusing your brand with another company that possesses the same acronym. Furthermore, having an acronym or a generic term as your company name doesn’t give you the competitive edge as an original name would.
Your name is closely tied to a location or place
Many local businesses name their companies after the place or location that they are based in. These kinds of names don’t do much in making your brand stand out. However, in cases where you are the only business in a certain area that offers a specific service, it would benefit your business to include the location in your name. On the other hand, including a location can limit your business if you ever want to expand to other locations.
Steps on how to change your company name:
Have a clear strategy
Start brainstorming and gathering raw ideas that are inspired by your core messaging and business objectives. In other words, you should have a clear idea why your company exists and what about it makes you different from other companies. You also need to determine why your target audience needs you.
One important thing to keep in mind when developing your name is that it must not represent too much. In other words, if quality, quick turnaround times, and cost-effective solutions are important to your business, try focusing on one of these aspects as it would leave a clearer picture in the minds of your target audience.
Allocate appropriate resources
When it comes to finding a new name for your business, you need to make sure you are investing in the right resources. You can try changing your company name by using a name generating tool. You can also internally put a team together who can help you craft a name. The team can use the name generating tool to generate different name variations which they can tweak according to the focal point or message of the business.
Research your new name
Researching your name is critical. Look at qualitative factors such as how marketable the name is, how it looks aesthetically, its relevance, what kind of brand voice it has, and its ability to be different from your competitors. In the testing phase, it is also essential to make sure that you have not chosen a new name that another company has coined or trademarked.
Fix what’s broken
A new name can benefit your business, but it cannot fix a broken business. If your company was involved in some sort of scandal, it won’t help changing your name if you don’t make internal changes to improve your business image.
Once you have cleaned up the perception surrounding your business, you can pick a new name. Your new company name should reflect who you are as a company after the scandal and what you stand for. The rebranding will tell the world that your company is starting over from scratch and is leaving the scandal in the past.
Selection & launch
The final selection of your company name can be a difficult decision. Once you have shortlisted new company names, you should be focusing on the names that best align with your brand personality. Once you have come to a decision, it’s time to pull the trigger and launch the new name. The launch of the new name might be terrifying and can yield uncertain results, however, you will never know if the new name will turn your business into an empire if you do not try.
Makeover your brand
Change is really hard especially when it comes to your company’s name. However, keeping a stale company name will only make your business rot. Try freshening up your business in order to push it to the next level. However, if you are unsure how to proceed or where you should begin, Cognite can help you brand your company. We can help you create your brand identity and strategy by figuring out what your mission, vision, and brand essence is.