Share on Pinterest

Considerations When Re-Naming Your Business

ducks-flying

Name changes always such a hard thing to manage. There are the external considerations to weigh – customers/clients perceptions, the community’s perception, and what your competition is doing. And there are internal considerations to weigh – what message will the name of the business send internally, and how it affects the staff?

The piece that you have to START with though, before you choose to rename a business is to check in with your motivations for WHY you want to rename the business.

  • Was there a significant change that recently took place? Merger, Spinoff, Layoff, or Bankruptcy?
  • Do you have BAD press and/or a BAD reputation?
  • Is a Competitor simply too close to your name?
  • Do you have multiple divisions that you want to try to unify?

Be honest and really check in on the WHY.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

Next, consider what kind of monetary and time resources you have to lend to the project in the short, mid, and long-term. Do you have sufficient time, staffing, and budget to share with the world your new business name? Or are you limited on time and money? Name changes aren’t cheap — particularly not big changes. You’re going to have to commit a marketing budget to share with your community and stakeholders WHY you made the change. What your new VISION is, and how you new name will help you accomplish that. This is more than just changing your logo — there is a story that needs to be told, and it’s incumbent upon you to tell it, thoroughly, and well — which usually means television and radio campaigns, backed up with in-person appearances at all the local community and civic organizations.

Consider what the name change would mean to your internal staff. These folks are the backbone of your business and a wrong step here can be more than troublesome, it can be devastating. In this realm, pay particular attention to the short, mid, and long-term implications of a name change. If you’re making a change, is it really something that can be gotten behind, can it create more/new energy? If you’re doing a name change to deal with BAD press or reputations — will your staff be helpful in eliminating that concern going forward, or will it be a fight.

Finally, be honest about the motivation you bring to the table. If you’re wanting a name change from an egoic standpoint – trying to put your stamp on the business, and it not be SIGNIFICANTLY served by making the change, be brave enough to NOT change the name. There are times, places, and reasons it makes sense to change a business name — but it’s rare.

Bottom line, there is no easy answer here — just a difficult choice. My best recommendation is to make the best decision you can to serve the short, mid, and long-term needs of the business. Don’t make a decision exclusively for the long-term at the expense of the short or mid-term. Because without those, you wont have a business in the long-term. And don’t make a decision solely based on the short-mid term, because you need this business to function in the long-term. You have to make the very best decision possible for the business.

If you’re looking for support, I can help you mitigate whatever needs to be mitigated based upon that decision in order to allow your business to thrive in the short, medium, and long-term.


If you liked this, you might like...

Tisha Oehmen

Tisha Oehmen is a professional brand strategist and a leader in the branding field. She was recently named a member of the Global Guru’s Top 30 Brand Gurus. She is also the co-founder of Oregon-based Paradux Media Group and the best-selling author of the book, Finding Brand: The Brand Book Tutorial.

Possessing expertise in both front- and back-office operations, Tisha conceptualizes, develops, and implements initiatives to foster brand effectiveness like no other. With over 15 years of experience in branding and marketing, Tisha has successfully led large financial institutions and health care companies down the path of renaming their business.

Where Tisha really shines is in the work that isn’t done. Sometimes a name change for a business isn’t in their best interest and after meeting with Tisha, they are able to find the true value and equity that has always been in their brand. Tisha has a special knack of being able to communicate the value so that the CEO/Business owner can see its luster and then with a little polishing, make it shine company wide.

Tisha is best known for developing long lasting branding campaigns that speak to the heart of the business, the brand, and the community. True brand, no matter how big or small, has longevity. Creating branding campaigns that have longevity, that have a laser-like focus, is where Tisha thrives.

Tisha received her M.B.A. from the University of Oregon, from where she also earned a B.A. in Political Science. She enjoyed a distinguished academic career punctuated by enthusiastic and successful participation in competitive speaking events, and holds numerous awards for her skill in public speaking. Tisha is widely recognized for her ability to capture an audience’s attention with her straightforward and engaging speaking style.

When not working, she enjoys golfing, baking, reading, and hiking with her partner, Mike, and their two dogs, Chloe and Jackson. She’s also an active member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, and is a very proud supporter of the Oregon Ducks. Tisha lives in Eagle Point, Oregon.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply