Do I Change My Business Name?

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Changing your brand's name is a common struggle. Say you're using your name and you think you need to separate from that. Maybe it's the other way around: you're using your name but now you need something catchier.

Whatever the case is, changing your brand's name is not something to take lightly. You want to make sure if you do change your brand's name, it's a smooth transition with your audience to avoid confusion and frustration.

Imagine you've lived in a neighborhood your entire life. You know everything, everyone, and it really is home. And then, out of nowhere, you have to move 1000 miles away that day. It's a shock because you're not ready for this, yet you have to move.

Uncomfortable, right? That's exactly how your audience will feel once you announce the big reveal.

So if you're going to do it, give them a good reason as to why you're doing so.

Change your brand’s name because:

1. Your brand's strategy and mission has shifted.

The great shift in strategy happens and it's a sign of growth. When you're niching down during a brand refresh, you may realize you're gravitating toward a particular audience. This may conflict with your standing name and time to consider a new one.

2. You've switched industries.

One of the reasons I switched from CNICOLE PhotoDesign to FIVE12 STUDIO was to have more flexibility. I found myself growing in another direction, expanding in the realm of branding and strategy. I also wanted to move into product design and knew CNICOLE PhotoDesign didn't fit or make sense to my audience.

Think about where you want to go in your industry and where your name holds up. If it doesn't fit, it's time to change.

3. Honestly, you hate it.

Sometimes not liking your name means it's time for a change. There may not be any other reason and that's fine. Simply put, the name was fine then, but it irks you to say it now. If you don't like it, you won't promote it and your audience will move on to something else.

That's it. Change your brand name and release it to the masses.

Kidding.

Here are the next steps while working towards your new brand name:

1. Fix what's broken.

FlyBlueKite makes a good point: "A new name cannot fix a broken business."

If your systems are broken, been through some sort of scandal, or/and never had a clear vision, changing your name isn't going to fix it.

You have to do the work. You have to get to the core, build the foundation, and layout out how you're going to keep and attract your audience.

2. Map out the pros and cons of changing your brand's name.

Cons:

- Some may not understand why you need to change because they don't like change.

- It can also be expensive. If you have an LLC in your old name, you'll need to file a change.

- You also have marketing materials that need to be updated.

Pros:

- It's a new start. Updated logos, color schemes, core mission statements, etc. It's like deep Spring cleaning for your business.

- It can be the exact change your business needs. You'll be happy to talk about your brand, what it stands for, and feel better leaving the past behind.

- Attract new customers. There's a group of people who don't know who you are, so your new name is a great way to introduce yourself and say hello.

Changing your name can be a wild ride and very well worth it. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it benefits your brand and most importantly your audience.