Your name may not be too narrow, but maybe it still sounds small. Think Brad`s Drink vs Pepsi Cola. Sound of Music promised “best buys” for everything in the crowd and made more money during the sale than in a typical month. Two years later, the company changed its name. But this tactic has mixed results. What worked for ValuJet when they moved to AirTran Airways failed miserably for Altria, formerly Philip Morris. Wharton marketing professors Americus Reed and Patti Williams discuss what goes into the company`s name change. If the name ValuJet conjures up the image of plane wrecks in Florida`s Everglades, that`s exactly why the company decided to change its name. After an accident that killed more than 100 passengers in 1996, the airline — which had previously been haunted by allegations that its safety procedures were not in line with snuff — merged with another airline the following year and was reborn as AirTran.
AirTran was later acquired by Southwest in 2014. Does your brand name still speak of the different offers? Or is it part of an outdated legacy that no longer reflects who you are today? If so, renaming can be an effective way to better capture everything your brand does or wants to do in the future. What`s in a name? A lot if you`re an established brand like Dunkin` Donuts, which operates over 12,000 franchises in 46 countries. Yet the traditional company announced in September that it was dropping the second half of the name it had had since 1950, when a cup of hot coffee sold for a penny and a tasty donut was available for a nickel. While the new name Dunkin` still sells baked goods, the name change reflects changing consumer tastes — beverages now account for 60% of the restaurant`s sales. “By simplifying and modernizing our name while paying tribute to our heritage, we have the opportunity to create incredible new energy for Dunkin, both inside and outside our stores,” Tony Weisman, chief marketing officer, said in a statement. What could have been your favorite childhood ice cream treat received a new name in 2020: Edy`s Pie. The Eskimos, considered offensive by Indigenous groups such as the Inuit, received the heave-ho, as did the mascot, a young boy dressed in a hooded robe and fur boots. Parent company Dreyer`s said it “recognizes that the term is pejorative” and has been reviewing the brand, which was recently acquired by Nestlé, for some time.
Anyone who knows a lot about corporate accounting scandals would undoubtedly put WorldCom at the top of the list. The telecommunications giant falsified its books worth about $11 billion, leading to the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history in 2002. Two years later, the restructured company adopted a new (old) name: MCI, the name of the company that WorldCom had acquired in a takeover in 1996. MCI hasn`t been long for this world either, as it was acquired by Verizon in 2005. Below, we`ll look at what we mean by a business name change, the risk associated with business name changes, the reasons for changing your business name, and some examples of notable business name changes. In 1893, a man named Caleb Bradham created a new drink in his pharmacy in New Bern, North Carolina. Even if you make it clear that your company is making a rebranding, it`s unlikely that everyone will hear the news. You should be prepared to lose at least a few confused customers after your name change. In fact, some may assume that your business has closed if they can no longer find your original name on social media and other platforms.
What`s in a name? Abundance. Therefore, it is not an easy task to change your business name. At this point, everything changes. Rotation. Staff. Process. Systems. Financing. Operations. Marketing.
Weird and creative spellings. Foreign surnames. Use of unknown words. Time will tell if Meta`s rebranding will be revolutionary or regrettable, but we can be sure that the company spent a lot of time and money putting the idea to the test before presenting it to the world. A name change is also an opportunity to refresh the brand and show consumers that the company is evolving with the times. Often, a name change simply aligns the company with the language already used by customers. Starbucks, for example, is no longer called Starbucks Coffee, a name its customers cut off long ago. Sometimes companies don`t want a complete rebranding, but they want to optimize some of their products. Then the rebranding becomes small, like when McDonald`s announced it would stop using preservatives in its burgers to appeal to health-conscious consumers, or when British Petroleum changed its lettering and logo to a shield to convey strength and protection. In 2014, a new mobile payment company was launched. They had the support of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
They even printed signs that hung in store windows: “ISIS Welcome Here!” It turned out that Isis Mobile Wallet was an unfortunate name choice. “Weight Watchers is a 55-year-old brand. Definitions of health and well-being have changed a lot since the post-war period,” she said. What it means to be fit in today`s environment, to be healthy in today`s environment – fundamentally different. They were your mother`s diet plan, and they don`t want to be your mother`s diet plan anymore. “Dunkin` isn`t the only brand that has recently rebranded. Weight Watchers has announced that with WW, it will focus on its new slogan “Wellness that works”, and IHOP has temporarily adopted the name IHOB to emphasize its burgers. The DST change has sparked widespread derision on social media, reminding us that rebranding doesn`t always work.
But it shouldn`t be I Love Rewards, said Suleman, which “seems a bit consumer-oriented, it sounds a bit startup-y. If you went into every sales pitch, into media interviews, talking to prospects, you knew it wasn`t the right name for the future. According to Al Ries, “a brand is what consumers call it.” “Instead of trying to impose a nickname on consumers, a company should wait to make you popular. Coca-Cola, for example, didn`t stick “cola” on its bottles until people started calling the product that. That`s the way to go, said marketer Mia Pearson, co-founder of Toronto-based communications agency North Strategic, which advises companies considering a name change to have a “strong and credible story” behind the new brand, demonstrate continuity with the past, ensure the message is consistent across the board and ensure all key stakeholders are on board. before it is formalized. Square was in a similar situation. The “Square” brand had become synonymous with their commerce solutions, so the parent company became Block to help the company signal a shift to other lines of business. It remains to be seen whether this huge gamble will pay off, but in the near future, Zuckerberg and Facebook investors will be watching closely to see how the media and the public react to the new meta name and how the transition unfolds. After all, billions of dollars are at stake. Article Sources: Al Ries: ftp://ftp.repec.org/opt/ReDIF/RePEc/sym/PDF/symjournl4.pdf US Trademark Applications: www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/us_stat.htm Harvard Business Review: hbr.org/2011/05/the-best-way-to-name-your-product-20 Use Social Media: hbr.org/2010/12/the-one-thing-you-must-get-right-when-building-a-brand Trademark Usage: www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/wholefarm/html/c5-53.html Altria: content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1914815_1914808_1914686,00.html “A short, unique and memorable name makes it easy for us to stand out from the wide range of companies whose names follow the traditional model of borrowing certain elements of the technology shelf,” he said in an email.
As mentioned above, many businesses start as speculative experiments or passion projects when a viable, well-verified name isn`t at the top of the priority list. As a result, new businesses may encounter branding issues. The battle over the WWF name was a more unique storyline. In 1994, the World Wildlife Fund and the World Wrestling Federation mutually agreed that the latter would stop using the initials internationally, except for short-lived uses such as WWF Champion. In the end, however, the agreement was largely ignored, and the issue became a sticking point when the wrestling society registered wwf.com. Eventually, the company was renamed WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) after losing a lawsuit. It`s easy to misjudge the time and effort it takes to successfully rebrand your business. For example, you must notify the IRS and your local government to let them know that you are operating under a new business name.