I think it is amazing the power that a company’s name has. It is also amazing how changing a company’s name can really change the business it is getting. Do you think that the risk of losing a part of your customer base to gain more customers is worth a name change?
This is a very good question. It is important to understand how much recognition your current name has before deciding to change it. We call this Brand Equity. Without knowing anything about your business, it is hard to make a blanket recommendation, but some factors to consider include:
- How long you have been in business: If you are just starting out, it will be easier to change than if you have been in business a long time.
- How much you have invested in your name: Whether you have spent a lot advertising versus a minimal amount promoting your name.
- Extent of repeat customers: Consider whether you have a steady base of customers, versus always appealing to new ones.
- Awareness of your name: Consider the percent of people in your target market that have heard of your business.
- Perception of you name: Consider what your potential customers think of your business based on the name. Is this perception accurate?
And most importantly, consider the reasons to change your name: confusion with competitors, the name no longer represents what you do, limited service or geographic scope, new ownership, etc. If there is a serious problem with your name that is causing you to lose business or hinders your growth, it is seriously worth further consideration.
The next step would be to assess your situation given these factors to consider and to conduct some research. You can research competitors to see what names they are using and how creative or closely aligned to their business they are to get sense of the scope of business names in your sector.
I would also recommend that you ask clients what they think of your name and what effect changing your name would have on sales. They might be fond of the name, they might care less, or they might be enthusiastic about a change. It’s a good idea to ask them.
- For more information about naming your organization read: Does Your Nonprofit Need a New Name?
If you need further help, you can reach me at 212-673-9353.
Howard Adam Levy
Principal, Red Rooster Group