Remember when your mother told you “sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you”? Well, mom was wrong.

The name you assign to your business is an important part of your overall brand strategy. It’s important because it denotes what you do and, in some cases, how you do it. I had a client one time that was about to open a new million-dollar-plus facility for the elderly in their community.

The facility was a wonderful gathering place for seniors that would provide them with fun and stimulating activities, act as a place to meet with friends, hold interesting seminars, and become a central gathering place for them during the day. It had nothing to do with nursing homes or dying, yet the center’s existing name – Eastern County Council on Aging (Not the real name, but close enough) – really didn’t connote fun and excitement. In fact, it sounded like a place you go to wait for death to show up.

Renaming the center breathed new life into a program that had significant merit and gave the community a reason to look at this amazing facility in a new light. The same can happen for your business. When it’s time to breathe new life into your company, examine your entire brand strategy.

Does your brand – the sum total of your company’s name, its marketing materials, the things your executives say about the company, and the customers’ perceptions about your company – really denote what you do and how you do it? If not, it may be time for some changes.

Sticks and stones can break your bones. But the wrong name can break your business.