21 Apr

A big small job

I’m still amazed by this: the number of companies and/or individuals who think that – because it may only consist of one or two words – renaming a company takes just five minutes.

Renaming/rebranding a company is one of the hardest (yet one of the most enjoyable) things I get asked to do.
In some cases it can take as long to get the new name right as it would take to write several pages of content for a website.

Why is this so?

Because naming/renaming a company is like trying to smuggle a rhino in a jam jar.

That new name – even if it’s just one word – will have to encompass;

– Your entire company ethos.

– Your history.

– Who you’ve been aiming at and/or who you’re now aiming at (assuming that you’re changing direction, if rebranding)

– It’ll have to avoid industry clichés / common names: in advertising circles, an animal and a colour, or fruit, became common for agency names e.g Blue Frog or Strawberry Frog. Also, ‘Rocket’ became common for digital agencies.

– It’ll have to be considered alongside your competitors: how does it mark you out from them?

– It’ll have to be considered against those you benchmark yourself against.

– It’ll take into account your overall company tone of voice.

– It’ll often have to be considered alongside a new strapline, the changing of all content, new marketing brochures: it has to all join together seamlessly.

In fact, I take as detailed a brief for creating a company name as I would for an entire advertising campaign or for writing the content for a website.

I’ll then ping across 10 – 15 suggestions to my client, and they’ll give me feedback (and choose a couple that are near the mark), then I’ll ping some more over… until we strike gold.
This can take a couple of days, if not longer.

Remember – choosing a new company name is not a light decision;

– It’ll form your brand for the next few years / forever
– It’ll be the key part of your identity
– It’ll be seen across your website, marketing brochures, email sign-offs, stationery, invoices.
– It’ll be the reason, in a split second, people decide whether to use you or not.

So, this is what I mean when I refer to a ‘big small job’.
It may only involve the use of one or two words, but getting your company name right will – quite possibly – be one of the most important things you do.

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