Branding and Naming – Get the Big Picture

Boston Herald on branding:

What’s in a name?

Just about everything if it identifies your company or organization and tells the public what it can expect from you. Which is why the fin de siecle trend toward re-branding that picked up steam in the late ’90s is unlikely to end any time soon. “Old” businesses and organizations want to sound new. New organizations want to sound cutting-edge. “NYNEX,” after all, is so…20th century.

These days, even mom-and-pop shops are in the business of renaming themselves. Small nonprofits, looking to gin up more support from major donors, are attempting to recast themselves as well.

To be sure, companies […] need to review their logos and their overall graphic identity periodically just to make sure they don’t look outdated. That activity is something else, though — a brand refreshment, if you will, not a true re-branding.

True re-branding involves overhauling a firm’s identity and positioning.

Typically, existing customers, if they are happy with the service you provide, will come along regardless of the name change you make. It’s your prospective customers, that vast universe of potential business growth, that you want to hear from.

Don’t lose sight of your mission. Small nonprofits and small-cap companies can’t afford to give up their hard-won identity in the hope that an ill-considered new name will somehow position them better with their donors and customers.

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