I saw an infographic today about famous brands that used to be known by another name. Did you know that Pepsi used to be called Brad’s Drink, Subway was Peter’s Super Submarines, Nike was Blue Ribbon Sports, Starburst was Opal Fruits, and Google (yes, THE Google) used to be called BackRub?
It got me thinking about when it might be a good idea to re-brand your business. Clearly, Google made the right decision. (Can you imagine someone saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll just BackRub it!”? Wow, what were they thinking?!) But changing your business’ name is certainly not a decision that should be taken lightly. So under what circumstances should you consider re-branding?
Start by asking yourself a few questions:
- Has your product or service changed? Businesses evolve and change over time—if your name no longer reflects the products or services you want to focus on most, it might be time for a change.
- Has your audience changed? You should be analyzing regularly who your target customer is and how to effectively market to that customer. Perhaps a name change will help you reach this goal if you are re-evaluating your audience.
- Does your current business name seem inaccurate or unfavorable? Have you ever seen a commercial on TV and can’t figure out what they’re actually advertising? Unless you have an unlimited marketing budget to hammer your brand name into your potential audience until they come to associate it with your products or services, your brand name should make what you do crystal clear to your audience.
- Does your business name have a bad reputation? Sometimes, even businesses that have weathered a storm and come out on the other side just can’t get rid of the bad taste in their customers’ mouths. Don’t rush toward a name change in the middle of a crisis, but if the dust has settled and you’ve corrected the problems you had in the past, a name change might give your business the fresh start it needs.
For another perspective on business re-branding, you can check out this flow chart.
Can you think of any other situations in which it might be a good idea to re-brand your business? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments!
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