What’s in a name? Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” but the truth is, brand names and their associated imagery does matter. Would you rather receive roses from “Budget Flowers” or from “Floral Passion”? One makes you think it’s worth more, that’s for sure.
When it comes to your business, a name can be an advantage or a disadvantage. There are almost limitless reasons to rebrand, but here are our top ten. And when we say “brand” in this context, we mean name, logo, slogan, and perhaps even the associated “personality” and imagery (colours, visuals) of the business or product.
If any of these are true for you, you should seriously consider a rebrand.
- Brand appeals to only one type of client. E.g. Small businesses, or one target type, e.g. women but not men. If you want the other kinds of clients, you’ll be better off to rebrand.
- Brand suggests only one type of service. This causes people to make limiting assumptions. You’ll always be the “cupcake” company if that’s what’s in your name. People may never think of you for full-on catering. So if you do full-on catering, the name is a label, and a limiting one.
- Brand is forgettable, hard to say, or hard to spell. A lot of new companies use numbers (12345 Alberta Ltd.) or 3-letter abbreviations (ABC Consulting). Yes, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and you’ve gotten used to it, but it causes a huge loss of “word of mouth” referrals every time someone can’t recall who you were, or spell it.
- Brand is not the current you. If you’ve already made great strides in strategy and direction, it’s a shame if your brand still makes you look like the little rinky-dink company you were umpteen years ago, and this can affect your ability to land the best clients or reach broader markets. A new brand name or logo is a great way to express the new, greater company you are today.
- Brand is bland. If your name sounds like everybody else’s, or is just plain dull, it creates a weak first impression. If your brand lacks creativity or passion, people will assume you don’t have passion either, and probably be more likely to make buying decisions based on price. Blandness also leaves room for a zippy new competitor’s brand to catch you by surprise.
- Brand is tied to location or partners no longer involved. If the location is no longer relevant (e.g. “Community name” flowers moves to a new community) or reflects the names of partners that are no longer involved, it may be time to change it.
- Brand has negative association. Does your name sounds like a terrorist group, or something very negative – ISES vs. ISIS. Yikes…. Hopefully the International Special Events Society is on the rebranding track already.
- Brand became tarnished. If the brand from a previous owner was highly tarnished, say, because they were caught in some awful Ponzi scheme, goodwill becomes bad. Much better to start fresh than to have to keep screaming “under new ownership” everywhere.
- Brand has not changed in 10 or more years. Some great brands thrive for 20-30 years without changing, but if a lot of time has passed, think hard. Are you Blockbuster Video or Radio Shack?
- Brand limits your ability to price high enough. If you’re just not making money, and you need to get your prices up, a re-brand is a great chance to do it. A new name, image, and re-launch will shake things up enough to help launch a new offering, and give you a chance to command more.