Page 48 - Network Magazine Fall 2018
P. 48

                                                   What’s your name again?
How and why you might want to rename your company
                                              When you say your company’s name, does it offer intrigue? Does it give someone a glimpse into your personality? If it does, then this article isn’t for you. However, if you answered no, keep reading.
Your company’s name is the first thing people mention when they talk about your business. It’s said dozens of times by you and your employees every day, and it's front-and-center on all of your marketing. Your name should open doors or at least get people to sit up and take notice. Not ignore you.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your name is doing its job – some may argue, more than anything.
Often, names people choose when a company is formed doesn't work well as it evolves. And in some cases, a weak name could be preventing your success.
Here are some indicators that you might be in line for a name change:
1. If you’ve experienced brand mix-up.
Does your company ever get calls for a business with a similar name? Or, do people ever mistake your company for another business in a different industry? Or, do you have trouble with people misspelling or mispronouncing your name? If your name is not distinct, your marketing has to work a lot harder, and that can burn your budget.
2. If you’ve changed your service line.
Businesses obviously change to respond to the market. Over the years, you may have added new products
or service lines. Or if you have moved into an entirely new industry, you might need to consider a new name
– especially if your brand specifically mentions the work you used to do.
3. If your company is named after its founder.
Many companies name their organization after their founder. The practice is particularly common with professional services firms. It poses the biggest issue when founders or partners leave or die. There are of course companies named after people who stand the test of time. But, if your organization doesn’t have the level of name recognition of Walt Disney, Morgan Stanley, or Johnson & Johnson, founder-based names might be problematic for you.
4. If the name includes a geography reference.
Many local businesses choose to brand their company based on their location. These names do little to differ- entiate the company. When you’re the only greenhouse or gym in town, it can work. But, if your company has any plans to expand, a name change might be in order.
5. If your name is generic or ordinary.
Your name should be a distinct and a differentiator. However, if your name is unmemorable, it might be time to change. Your name should be “sticky” and help you separate yourself from the competition. Names with three letters pose a major problem. Acronyms have very little retention value, and that inhibits your competitive edge.

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