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Changing Your Brand Name

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by Startacus Admin

changing your brand name
Lisa Forde, Director of Event Stationery company Dotty About Paper writes for Startacus on changing your brand name as a business and shares her personal experience of doing just that..

Lisa Forde Dotty about Paper"Changing the name of my online stationery company, The Card Gallery, to Dotty about Paper was an exciting yet daunting move. When I launched the business in 2004, the name fit the company well. However, as my business strategy developed, we needed something that reflected the modern stationer we had become. Our 2018 plans to diversify into wholesaling and desk stationery moved me to start planning our fresh new look.

My first step was to research the best name for the business. We looked at competitors, but we also knew we wanted something that stood out as unique in the market; previously, some customers had voiced confusion over The Card Gallery’s similarity to other card supplier titles.

We talked with professionals who helped us decide on a name that represented us while also being viable from a Dotty About Papermarketing and ranking perspective. I wanted to make sure the whole team had a say, so we also held meetings where my employees could share their thoughts. Together, we shortlisted our best ideas and decided that Dotty about Paper was the right name for us. In addition to reflecting our focus on invitations and social stationery, it provided us with new advertising prospects, like our own hashtags for use on Instagram posts.

When selecting your new brand name, think about the potential for unique and exciting angles it can bring to your marketing campaigns. This can help your new identity stand out from the crowd. Ensuring it will rank well is another key factor. Check, not just that the domain name is free, but that the name isn’t too similar to existing companies. Looking for smaller sellers on sites like Etsy is also important.

Changing the name required equally careful planning. We catalogued all the instances of our old name, whether it was on the website, printed material, or our social media pages. Next, we assigned the task of replacing these instances to staff members. Staggering tasks in the run-up to the day of the change helped us manage this big job. For example, printed products like sample packs could be prepared in advance, while changing the names on our website was scheduled for the day itself. Think about how to organise your workflow to suit your own company. Aim to tackle name changes as early as possible so there’s no last-minute rush once the switch has happened. You should also plan to double-check for instances of the old name that might have slipped through.

We kept in constant communication with our contacts and material suppliers, keeping them informed every step of the way. This helped ease any initial apprehension about the effect our move would have on their businesses. In turn, they gave us valuable support. Don’t forget your partners and suppliers when enacting a weighty change such as this. Having facts about your research and reasons at the ready can dissuade their concerns.

Changing your brand nameWe were also mindful of the dip in ranking – and, in turn, sales – that we would experience during the changeover. To minimise the financial impact, we arranged the switch during a quiet period between the end of the wedding season and the start of the Christmas shopping rush. With less orders, we could also focus our energy on perfecting the new brand and running our PR campaign. Depending on your company’s sector, you can likewise plan your rebranding for a low point in the year.

The PR was conducted across multiple channels. Primarily, we used our social media accounts to post sneak peeks of the new logo before eventually having a grand reveal. We also sent newsletters and published a blog explaining the switch. Keeping customers informed is vital, as you don’t want people to think you have been taken over by another company. We also wanted to maintain the trust we had built up over the years by reassuring them we were the same business, with the same fantastic products and five-star service.

We have always valued our place in the local Bridgnorth community, taking pride in the lovely Grade II Listed building in which we’re based. As such, we planned a small launch party in our studio that was open to the public, with snacks and product samples available. This was also a lovely treat for the team, giving us a chance to celebrate our new name; try to keep the rebranding process positive so a productive atmosphere can be maintained. The launch received local press coverage. On a national level, we also received press coverage by sharing our experience of changing the business name and giving advice to others.

Making the most of the buzz generated around the switch spread the word and helped us make up for any loss in sales. Business owners planning a rebranding should put just as much effort into this kind of marketing as they do the technical side of the name change. Utilise your local presence in the community if you run a small business; cost-effective digital marketing can be carried out no matter your size.

My advice to owners considering a name change would be simple – research and planning are invaluable. You also need the courage to take the risk if you believe it’s the right move for your company. Weigh the outcomes and, if you feel sure there are benefits to be gained, dive in. Motivate your employees and contacts while reassuring them and answering their questions clearly. Your passion and determination should be an inspiring example to them, moving them to put their full effort into making the change a success.:

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Published on: 19th January 2018

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