Changing your Company Name — a Checklist

by Chris Brown on Friday, September 7, 2007

Changing a company name often takes time. Don’t forget all the little details when you make the switch. Everyone remembers to design a new logo and print new stationery, but it’s all those little details that “getcha!”

Here’s a checklist to help. Although this doesn’t include everything, maybe it will include something you haven’t thought of yet! I’m sure that there is at least 10 other things not listed. Let me know what you think I’m forgetting, too.

  • Change the name on the automatic answering telephone.
  • Ask each employee to re record their voicemail if they use the company name
  • Change the name on the logo of the web site
  • Update all the pages on the website
  • Get the domain for the new name and redirect the old site.
  • Leave a “trail” in the meta tag description and keyword of the old name
  • Have a transition on the return address of the envelopes so you don’t lose your cash flow when your customers throw away your invoices.
  • Make it into a celebration so the old time employees have closure.
  • Write a press release and post it on your website explaining why.
  • Update your listings in directories: especially Thomas Net
  • Post a press release on PRWeb, PRNewswire and the like.
  • Send a letter to all your customers: current, former and potential.
  • Make sure all the employees know, especially the ones off site.
  • Send a letter and email to all your vendors too.
  • Order a new sign for out front
  • Get a trinket: mousepads, tshirts, pens, baseball caps as appropriate

By planning the name change, not just making a half-hearted switch, you’ll have a more successful transition.

Who has done it well? Cingular to AT&T? Kaufmann’s to Macy’s? ____fill in the blank____ — Who has messed up…tell me!

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