Whether you’re starting a new company, establishing a spinoff, or considering a total rebrand, your company name is an important decision that will drive a lot of other aspects of your business.
Before you undertake a brand transformation, though, first ask yourself and your team: Why are we rebranding? Should we rebrand? Remember that a rebrand can come in a few different forms:
- name change, logo & website/collateral redesign
- logo & design update
- more subtle changes, often to modernize or pivot, e.g. new accent colors or a fresh tagline
The level of rebranding you choose will depend on what you are trying to achieve. Consider:
- Brand equity—especially for longstanding companies with name recognition
- Resonance with your customer base
- Budget—take a look at the breadth of assets this will impact
- Vision—how will today’s brand fit tomorrow’s markets and customers?
If you’ve decided to do a complete rebrand, there are some initial research and decisions you will need to make. We’ve identified 7 quick ideas that can help with your discovery process.
7 Reflections for Rebranding
- Customer Research – Customer surveys or interviews can help you understand your existing brand equity.
- Competitive Intelligence – Who are your biggest competitors? How do they portray themselves? What names are they using, and what other names are available?
- Phonetic Spelling – From Lyft to Unbxd, unique misspellings have been a big naming trend in recent years. On one hand, it’s a way to convey the essence of your brand while standing apart from the rabble of common search terms. However, you still want to consider the tradeoff between differentiation and clarity. What would you Google if you only heard the name and never saw it written?
- Logo Development – Think graphically. Is the name useable in multiple formats and media? “Jonathan Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff & Associates” probably wouldn’t fit on a business card, much less a compact logo design, but “J.W. & Associates” would. (That’s a real last name, by the way.)
- Consider the End Game – If you're looking to partner, merge, or sell your business, consider the company name and how it fits in the larger context. Do you want to use your last name if you’re eventually going to sell to someone outside of the family? Due diligence regarding IP is another important concern for growing companies; addressing IP will help reduce costs, manage buyer expectations, and prevent any surprises that could derail the deal.
- Think Globally – The internet and inbound marketing, by their nature, will impact your company’s geographic reach. It’s important to consider your global audiences and any cultural or language issues that might arise.
Claim Your Domain – As we discussed in an earlier post with the lawyers at Woods Oviatt Gilman, it is important to consider entity, trademark and domain availability early in the creative process. You first want to check that the corporate name is available, and then make sure you’re not infringing on a trademarked company. Once you’ve selected a name, you’ll want to buy the necessary domains immediately before your search prompts someone to scoop them up.
Want to discuss your rebrand? Give us a call. Or sign up for our Free Inbound Marketing Assessment. We'll evaluate your brand's online presence including website, content marketing, and social media and provide suggestions for improvement.