Names are important. Aside from identification, the name of your brand has impact. Sometimes it is a slight change to convey more variety in your products or services. It can also be a complete overhaul with a brand new identity all together. As of late, many brands are in the process of changing their names, like Dunkin Donuts testing the name Dunkin to convey they serve more than just coffee and donuts. Renaming can be risky especially if there is a whole new brand image tied into it. Here are some things to consider before changing your name.
Is It the Right Fit?
If you are thinking about changing your name, make sure that it fits your current or new personality, makes it recognizable, and sets you apart from your competitors. Imagine if Google had kept their original name, BackRub. If you recognize early on the need for a rename, it could turn your brand around. If you do it well after your brand has been established, tread lightly. Run focus groups and make sure that it is inline with your current followers.
The Timing Needs to be Right
Brands like Apple changed their name at the height of their success. For some brands, that does not always work. Maybe you offer more product selections or the goal of your company has changed course. The name has to convey the heart of the business and if that drastically changes over time, then it’s time to consider a name change.
The Reasoning Needs to be Sound
According to Ken Pasternek, “A name change can help connect a brand with its audience and position a company for greater success in the marketplace.” Depending on the size of your business, the cost of a new name can be costly. And according to a study by Millward Brown, brands that change their names can see an immediate 5% – 20% decrease in sales. If your reasoning is for a marketing stunt, like iHop, then it is not worth it and you will spend twice the money changing and reverting the name for the sake of publicity.
A name change is costly and can hurt your business in the beginning, so it is important to make sure that this is something your business can benefit from in the long run. If done properly, a name change can change your brand for the better and push the company forward. If not, you could lose customers and spend the same amount of money reverting back to the original name.