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How to Re-brand

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Welcome Back! Now that you’ve seen those funny old brands, we hope you’re ready to hear the adventure we had in getting the new brand up and running.  Here’s the process we went through:

1. Thinking up a great name.

Once we finally faced the music and realized that the previous brand just wasn’t strong enough for where the company wanted to go, the grind of developing a name began.  You may think you don’t have the creativity to develop a name, but if you’re tenacious like me (hence the name “Tenato”), you’ll go to the trouble of actually reading every single word in the dictionary until you find one that tugs at your heart strings.  Then, you’ll play around with it until you get it to where you feel you’ve got something.   (During this period, I was playing a lot of Scrabble on my iPhone, and you know, shifting letters around actually helps your naming creativity.  I highly recommend it!).  At Tenato, we’ve developed many names for businesses and brands over the years, and it generally takes anywhere from one week to four weeks, depending on how many opinions need to be satisfied.  Once the key “name” is found,  there is also some thought that needs to go into determining which descriptive handle words will portray the company’s services best, as well as flowing well with the name.

2. Getting the domain name. 

Getting the desired domain name can be either a) frustrating if the name you’ve developed lacks in originality or b) highly satisfying if you’ve come up with something unique.  For Tenato, and for many of our clients, we’ve been able to get a .com or .ca (and often both) of names we develop because we’ve tended to coin original words from existing words.  It takes more effort, but there is certainly a kind of peace in knowing there isn’t some other company out there using your name already.  In a globally competitive marketplace, that’s something we really like.

3. Executing a formal name change.  

Not hard. We paid less than $150 to so this at one of the local registries.  You basically drop in there, tell them the name you’d like, and pay for a corporate name search which takes a day or two. Then, if you’re all clear on the name, you come back and sign off on changing the name and receive your official paperwork.  This  will change the records for the Canada Revenue Agency as well (eventually, although it takes a few weeks to work its way through the red tape).

4. Developing the brand image. 

Developing an image, colours, tagline, and brand standards helps to set out how the brand’s personality will evolve.   This is then forward into the corporate website, social media accounts, brochures, stationery, and more.   This is where you see the corporate personality take shape, and it can be a very exciting feeling when you look at your logo (as I personally do every day) and say I LOVE IT!!    Further, if you so desire for added comfort, you can trademark any of these items, which will cost a few hundred dollars more from a trademark lawyer.

5. Migrating the old website. 

This is the tricky part.  At Tenato, we left the old site up for a few weeks while we were perfecting the new site.  Then, to drive traffic from old to new, we had to “301 redirect” the old links to the new site, and ensure that search engines knew about the changeover so that the new site wouldn’t be treated as a “new business” but rather a “rebranded business.” This is an important distinction because it ensure we retain the credibility that the previous brand had built up over the years.   In all, it was a relatively smooth process, although we did drop out of the search engines for a week or so when it initially happened.  Now we’re back almost exactly where we were, except that we had stopped promoting the old site a few months before the migration, so we did drop a little more than we needed to.  We’re making up for it now!

6. Other to-dos. 

From there, there’s the administration:  Changing the telephone call display (actually very easy – you don’t have to change the official name on the account, but you can just change the name displayed, so it’s immediate), changing how you answer the phone, changing the bank account records, new business cards, new stationery, new signs.  It doesn’t cost much, it’s just a bit of a hassle, but anyone can pound it off in a few days.

So, now you’re probably wondering what the cost of this would be for your business?   Because we have re-branding skills in house, our cost was lower than it would be to another kind of business.  But that said, it kind of depends on whether you need to re-skin a whole fleet of trucks, or just swap out some stationery and signs.  I figure for a professional services type of business such as ours, you could expect it to cost around $12K (about $3K for the name, $3 – $4K for the logo and slogan, $3K for website upgrades,  and $3K for new stationery) or $25K with a whole new website.  On the other hand,  if you don’t change the branding, and you have a name that makes a weak first impression every time, what’s that costing you?

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About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm, MBA is founder and CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a marketing research and strategy firm with bases in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. With over 25 years' experience in all facets of marketing strategy, she is a business consultant, trainer and speaker who loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win."