Business life is not a long calm river, change of leader, internationalization ambitions, merger, acquisitionmarketing operation, or crisis, are all reasons that lead companies on the path of the dreaded “rebranding”.
Whether total or partial, radical or moderate, a name change is a strategic stepeven organic.
Nobody will have missed the change of name, although temporary, of the Decathlon sports brand in Belgium to Nolhtaced. A marketing operation to encourage customers to buy or resell second-hand clothes and thus encourage recycling.
In the longer term, Facebook becomes META and displays its desire to go “beyond” and even clarifies its ambition to enter the world of the metaverse.
Less recent example, we all have in mind GDF Suez, which became Engie in 2015 to move away from its image of “gas seller” or even Voyages-sncf which becomes Oui.sncf to standardize its different brands OUI (TGV), OUIgo , Ouibus and OuiCar. A change of name which also comes after an unprecedented crisis in solve more structural problems.
Many reasons which are, when you think about it, all generated by a desire to break away from…
Detaching yourself from a founding leader who is no longer there, detaching yourself from an activity that is no longer central, detaching yourself from a period of crisis, a market or a geographical area to go ” attack another”.
The first question to ask when the name change comes to the center of strategic concerns is therefore indeed: “What do I want to break away from? “to better answer the question”Where do I want to go? ” “
How to properly think of its new name?
A name change is not no small feat. It is first necessary to set up a dedicated working group with governing bodies, collaborators and trusted partners and define a precise timing so as not to let this project drag on at the slightest operational overload.
Take the time to ask yourself the right questions: radical or partial change ? Who are my targets ? What are my development ambitions ? What messages and what values do I want my company to convey? The new name can it be perceived or equated with something negative ? Does it already exist? Can it be, directly or indirectly, assimilated to another activity?
In short, the questions to ask are as numerous as the reasons for changing the name of your company.
Informing the internal is the priority. Employees and partners are the first ambassadors of this new name. Of course, this communication must also be thought through. She comes in once all communication tools finalized : logo, graphic charter, website, commercial brochures etc.
Present the process of your thinking and explain why this name change was necessary, explain the common thread that led you to the new name, the obstacles you encountered and, finally, what seemed obvious. Tell a nice story that your team will enjoy being associated with. The pretty stories federate. Facts are boring.
Inform your customers, it goes without saying. Your customers have chosen a name, they will now have to adapt to a new name, which is never natural or intuitive. We must therefore not skimp on the means implemented to announce the change of name to them. Official event, goodies, personalized invitations, verbal announcement for the most VIP customers. You have put all your creativity at the service of this new name, you surely have a little left to announce it. The adoption and success of this new name depends on it.
Last but not least: the media
The media will open the way for you name change has a brand change. The nuance is not small…
This communication is therefore not to be taken lightly. Press conference, press event, press kit, or simple press release, each brand has its own strategy.
The key is to have one and not to neglect this final step.
Only remains to mourn the old namepatience it can take a few months and that’s normal.
On your marks ! Ready! Go!
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Marina Thomas is a specialist in communication strategy and media relations. She embarked on the entrepreneurial adventure in May 2009 by launching Jakobson, a communication agency dedicated to regulated professions, start-ups and women leaders. For more than 10 years, she has worked alongside law firms, investment funds, notaries, but also start-ups and women decision-makers to ensure the construction and development of their image.