In what cases should one consider changing the name of their business?


Hi there... I would say the reasons would be potentially three-fold. (1) Obviously if your name was a little "weird" as in for whatever reason no longer fitted with what you are doing... (2) If something "bad" had been associated with your current name, so in your marketplace, your name no longer means good things, it would be worth considering changing your business name... (3) If your company needed a complete re-boot and wanted to start afresh in many ways, a name change could add impetus to you getting back on track and having a good chance of hitting your full potential. It is only a change in name and you would need to make sure that the internal heart of your company (culture, people, customer experience etc) also had a kick start, as a name change will not get you this positive kicker unless you change "how things are done around here" too. There might be a 4th one, which might be if your name is close to someone else's business name and you do not want to have a close name to them (for whatever reasons)? Overall, you might consider your business name if you were sure that it was part of the pieces to the puzzle of how your business can perform better. But a name change in itself, is not the only answer to take your business to the next level. Cheers Zac

Answered 10 years ago

There are dozens of reasons why someone might consider (or ought to consider) changing a business's name. But you should only care about the factors that apply to your brand name and your business's situation. If I were giving recommendations without knowing who you are and what your goals and concerns are, then I'd be a charlatan, wouldn't I?

Realistically, if you find yourself wondering whether a rebrand is a good idea, then you must already see some advantages in exploring a new name or else some disadvantages in staying with your current business name.

Does that gut feeling mean that a rebrand is necessary? Not necessarily. Every naming choice is about balancing pros and cons. At least half the time when people ask me if they ought to rebrand, I tell them No.

That said, many businesses that wouldn't even dream of rebranding are hurting themselves with bad brand names. Not all. But quite a few. It's worth asking the question, and it sounds like you're ready to weigh the pros and cons. If you want some advice, names are what I do full time.

That's the answer I think is important. But I could also answer your question literally with a list of reasons to change a brand name:

(1) A new name may send better signals to customers ... telling your story better.

(2) Your business may have outgrown the services implied by the old name, or the current name may limit expansion or changing direction in the future.

(3) Maybe your name is just fine but you can't obtain the optimal domain name to represent it. In that case, rebranding may solve that problem.

(4) If too many websites or companies share a similar name, then your brand's identity may be lost in the crowd.

(5) Even if other similarly named websites aren't competing with you for customers, they are still competing with you for visibility in Google. So you'll face difficulties being found in search results -- unless you compensate by paying more for SEO and PPC advertising. So a new name can reduce marketing expenses.

(6) Your old name may be ambiguous, hard to spell, easy to mishear, or require some extra explanation whenever you encounter a new customer.

And so forth. I could list a few dozen more. There are as many potential reasons as there are people and situations.

Answered 10 years ago

A name is an achor. It gets stronger as the time passes as your brand equity grows. The decision "rename!" is imperative only when it becomes an objective imperative. Otherwise, there are several ways to overcomes minor issues. There is no general rule, each case is a case. Please let me know more about your name and business reasons to rename. I will be more than happy to help you Marco Rezende

Answered 10 years ago

You should change the name if it gets in the way of the forward progress of the business. If you're wasting time spelling it or re-pronouncing it in every call or conversation, change it. If people hear the name and automatically think you do something you don't, change it. If your name makes you sound smaller, or cheaper, or trendier, or any other way that is detrimental to your success, change it. It will be hard to change it, you will have to throw a lot of old things away, some people in the company will definitely resist it. But you know when it has to change, and you should act on that knowledge firmly and decisively. Empower one decision maker, make sure that decision maker understands the objectives and criteria for the new name, look at a big, big bunch of new ideas, decide, and move forward.

Answered 10 years ago

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