Renaming a company, product or service is extremely important to creating a brand or marketing. It can be more difficult than it looks on face value. Expensive, yes. But sometimes very necessary.
After you’ve brainstormed the lists of names, here are some of the considerations when evaluating the name:
- Your customers, employees, and competitors
- Positioning strategy
- Getting found issues: alphabetical friendly for directories
- Easy to spell for searching and if you have multi word domains, be careful.
- Easy to pronounce: wii, yahoo, kazaa, hulu
- Before you start, set some criteria so you know when you have the right new name (some people’s votes count more than others.)
- Sometimes the favorite name doesn’t pass legal, so you should select several versions of the new name
- Trademark issues
Refer to these helpful links from Branding & Marketing when you’re in the midst of a rebranding and re-naming exercise with your company:
Image credit: Dacky, used with permission: Dreamstime Stock Photos
I just found out about a new website that can be quite helpful when you’re launching new products or businesses. It’s a small startup in Silicon Valley, California that just launched this month.
Trademarkia has built a huge library of 5.7 million logos, names, and slogans anywhere on the Internet by leveraging public information. The website allows business professionals, branding and marketing consultants who are want branstorm and create a new business name, slogan, or logo with a new way to get creative ideas and inspiration for new marks.
Trademarkia has also created a unique way to automate and simplify state and federal trademark registrations and monitoring.
Because you can look things up by category, by type and so on, I really think that this site might be very helpful when you’re in brainstorming mode! I’ve just looked at the site, but have not actually used their free services yet. It’s got to be helpful to visually check out the competitors’ logos, don’t you think?
How about anyone else? What are your thoughts? Have you used it yet?
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In politicial decisions, majority rules. Maybe that is why decision makers in Augusta Maine will deciding its branding by popular opinion.
According to an article I read on line, they are asking people to vote for the best logo and the best tag line…
There are 3 different positioning choices: the capitol, the river or their history. Tag lines may be switched with logos if a different tag line wins than the logo it’s paired with. (I’m not sure which positioning the tag line “all roads lead here” represents… maybe the river?)
Oh my. I’m not sure I’d even want 5 people voting on the colors to decorate my living room with the potential to swap elements… let alone important branding and marketing decisions for a state’s capitol. I think its the classic case of not trying to offend anyone.
They did a couple of things right. Figure out the unique positioning. Focus on what’s different about Augusta. Niche is good. Have a visioning session.
Funny thing, I was surprised that they didn’t pick up on something that Augusta has that no other city in the entire USA can claim. Augusta is the most Eastern city in the US, so the sun hits the city before anyone else in the country. Wouldn’t something “first” or “early” be a stronger positioning? (just another opinion!)
Many organizations struggle with branding. Instead of looking to customers, potential customers as well as the other stakeholders, often the decision makers will survey their friends and family to make a decision. I guess asking the residents (and everyone else!) to vote is better than making a decision in a total vacuum.
How do you think they could have improved the outcome of their branding?
What makes a “BEST BRAND”? Trust? Consistency? Simplicity of Purpose? Niche? Money?
Here are 5 links to brand ranking articles, lists and websites that I find have interesting branding insights:
- The Interbrand Survey has a list of the best global brands of 2008 from September 2008
- BusinessWeek offers their view of the Best Global Brands response to the recession… although this report is from September 2008. These brands are ranked based on the proportion of income as a result from the brand, role of the brand in how people choose and how strong the brand is.
- For a look at brand logos over the years, check the link to logos on the best brands of the world website. I love that it has many of the logo variations over the years from different brands.
- Forbes photo list of top Strongest Automobile brandsÂ in the US. An excerpt from their March 11, 2009 article called America’s Strongest Automakers:
“I say ‘Toyota,’ and you say ‘reliability’. I say ‘BMW,’ and you say ‘engineering’. I say ‘General Motors,’ and people go ‘uh?’ And that ‘uh?’ That’s the sound of a brand dying.”
That lack of niche is definitely a branding problem, although I found they also listed Chevrolet among the top 10 auto brands. Forgive me, but isn’t that a GM brand? Does GM market any car as a GM car or are they all their own brand. I can say Toyota Camry, Honda Accord… but I don’t say GM Chevy or GM Saturn. Chevy and Saturn are their own brands, right?
I’d appreciate your thoughts.
When should you rebrand your company? Here are times when my company has been asked to lead the rebranding effort:
- The company was sold
- The company was getting ready to be sold
- there was a significant change in management
- Focus was shifted to a new product line or service
- The sales channel shifted to a different way of interacting with customers
Rebranding is more than just updating a logo, refreshing a website or reprinting a new sell sheet. It may involve a new potential customer list, a new system for providing estimates, and should include a system for tracking and analyzing sales results. One recent successful rebrand is Key. They have been able to show their aspirations to keep growing as a result.
Rebranding means answering these questions first:
- Who is our target market?
- Why should they care?
- What is our unique competitive advantage?
- How should we tell our story?
- What’s the best way to contact them?
Businesses evolve over time, but sometimes the branding and marketing efforts have to play catch up. Does your business still have the old outdated tagline in materials that was “before ______”. Maybe it is time to look at rebranding your marketing efforts. While a new logo isn’t the whole picture of a rebrand, having a new logo isn’t a bad thing, hiring logo design services wasn’t a bad idea!
More Rebranding Articles:
Keep a Fresh Face on your Branding
Rebranding a Chrysler into a Nissan? Or more likely a Nissan into a Chrysler!
Are You Rebranding? or Just Updating Your Look?
Rebranding to help Marketing the Message
Rebranding: Fast, Faster, Fastest