When should you change the name of your business? I’ve had this question asked by a few of my business coaching clients recently – they’re become unhappy or unsure about the business name they originally chose or the one they inherited. But re-naming your business comes with considerable cost – it means changing all your stationery, your packaging, your logo, your website… But in some cases if you don’t do it, the costs as far as future customers and business could be higher.
When would you consider changing your business name?
(1) Obviously if your name was a little “weird”, as in for whatever reason it no longer fits with what you are doing or people often mis-spell it or just cannot remember it, no matter how much marketing and branding you do. Or perhaps it jars with people or has weird connotations that have nothing to do with your business.
(2) If something “bad” has been associated with your current name and you think your business and reputation has been tainted as a result. This may not have happened to your business in particular, but to a company or person with a similar name. Remember when rock band Shihad changed their name a few years ago because it sounded too much like Jihad? If your name no longer means good things in your marketplace, it would be worth considering changing your business name…
(3) If your company needed a complete re-boot and wanted to start afresh in many ways. A name change could add impetus to you getting back on track and having a good chance of hitting your full potential. It is only a change in name and you would need to make sure that the internal heart of your company (culture, people, customer experience etc) also had a kickstart, as a name change will not get you this positive kicker unless you change “how things are done around here” too. It might signify you moving into a new area or era, a la Telecom becoming Spark.
(4) People keep confusing your business with someone else’s? I particularly remember Kmart (big retailer of all sorts) and KMarket (fruit shop) of the 80s. You might want to change your name if it is close to someone else’s business name and you feel like that is having an impact on your business or reputation.
Overall, you might consider your business name if you were sure that it was part of the pieces to the puzzle of how your business can perform better. But a name change in itself is not the only answer to take your business to the next level…