Starting a business, launching a product, or introducing a new campaign or initiative is hard. Even with a great idea or product, without the right branding and messaging, you won’t reach your audience and make the impact you want. When things are not going your way, don’t be afraid to make a change. Transitioning to a new name might seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be – and the potential payoff can be huge. Here are PR & Company’s top five tips for making your name change as smooth and successful as possible.
Even though the name you originally chose might seem perfect to you, if your having trouble moving forward, it may be because that name simply isn’t resonating with your target audience or sector. Be sure you are considering the tone and appearance stakeholders want to see. Whether that’s kooky and creative or enterprise-friendly and corporate, you want to be sure your brand and name are tapping into the right vision of what will be successful in this sector.
Brand consultants often talk about choosing names that evoke an image or that have the right sound and feel. These are all hugely important, but don’t forget about the most basic and practical concerns. Choosing a name that considers SEO from the start gives you a huge advantage when it comes to promoting your name and reclaiming the space you had in the market before the transition.
Write to your current customers and partners ahead of time explaining that your name change is happening and why you’re doing it. Next, write a blog post and/or LinkedIn commentary and share widely after you make the transition. This will help avoid confusion and will make allies feel included in your transition, instead of feeling left behind. Finally, tweet about it. You might feel like you’re dwelling, but it’s important to hammer home the change in the days after you switch so you won’t have to keep addressing the change weeks and months after it is complete.
Decide what day the change will go into effect and then be ready to change everything. Website, email, LinkedIn, Twitter – make sure every platform is updated on the same day. Remind employees to also change their LinkedIn profiles to reflect the new company name, and make sure that everything – from the blurb in your bio to the signs on your doors – is updated by the end of the day.
Is your product effective? Is your approach unique and impactful? Are your staff and systems working efficiently and creatively? Just because your name or brand isn’t resonating doesn’t mean you have to change everything. Identify the elements that are working and make sure you preserve and promote them. Encourage your team to take pride in their work and view the name or brand change as a step forward, not a referendum on what’s been going wrong in the past.