If you haven’t already, please check out Part 1 of this two-part series.
Your company is ready to change its name. Now what?
Now comes what we at Monigle call, “the delicate balance.” While a strictly logical-driven approach to name development might work for some, and a more emotionally charged path might work for others, by combining the best of both, we’ve harnessed the most impactful path forward. Let’s take a closer look.
Take a long, hard, unvarnished look at your company. Who are you? What do you stand for? Where are you going? If you vanished tomorrow, what would the world miss most about your brand?
Next, spend quality time with your employees. Not only for their perspectives, but also to determine the level of buy-in and support needed to sell these critical brand ambassadors on the name change. Ask thoughtful questions and really hear what they have to say.
Learn More: Are we building brands, or are we building cultures?
Direct questions like, “Do you like the current name or do you feel we should change our name?” have limited value because people typically form attachments regardless of the deficiencies around a name. Indirect questions, however, can provide a great deal of richness which can help form a solid foundation to guide decision making and as criteria to guide the creation of a new name, if that is the final decision. Capturing stories that represent the essence of what inspires employees about the company, and the name, can be profoundly valuable.
External research, both quantitative and qualitative, can add additional insights that should be considered when making this profoundly important decision about a potential name change. Understanding your clients/customers perceptions of your company, competitive dynamics, their unmet needs that only you can solve, and associations with the existing name (including alignment with desired future state) are all valuable inputs.
Learn More: 11 Tips for Creating a New Brand Name
People form attachments to brands and to names. They often represent memories and feelings that transcend the linear combination of the letters that form a name. A change in name can send all kinds of signals to people, which if unmanaged, can result in wasted time, money, and emotional minefields. Respecting these emotional attachments and signals is not only key to avoiding negatives, but also key to building a successful foundation going forward. One way to accomplish this is simple: shut up and listen. Open your ears and your minds to what people are actually saying—both in and outside the lines.
From a process standpoint, it’s critical to:
- Educate key leaders on the importance of the name decision, the value of a name, and what makes a strong name
- Keep your strategic vision front and center as the lens through which any name decision is made
- Gather data but also understand and leverage the power of feelings
- Remember that the consideration and decision-making process can be as important as the actual recommendation.
Finally, while the focus of this piece has been naming as a standalone, abstract element, it won’t succeed when treated as an island. Making the optimum name decision will fall flat if your efforts are not orchestrated across all brand touchpoints, including the most powerful of all, the human touchpoint.
Learn More: Guiding Principles for Creating a Human Brand
Your employees are the ones who are challenged to bridge any gaps between brand promise and brand delivery thousands of times every hour of every day. A strong name, as part of a holistic brand experience, becomes the critical thread that ties it all together—and allows great companies and great brands to thrive.
In this two-part series we walked through the top reasons why a company embarks on a renaming journey and how to navigate the change successfully. Now, is your brand ready for a name change? We’d love to continue this discussion and hear what conversations you’re having around Naming at your organization. Get in touch with us or follow us on social media!