Rebranding a business can be a challenge and you need to be prepared for the endeavor before you ever begin. You may want to change your name for various reasons. Maybe the name you chose years ago doesn’t fit the current company culture or products. Maybe you want to remove the personalization of a name or initial included in the original name. Or maybe you want to disassociate with legal issues your company has faced in the past. Whatever the reason, changing the name of your business can help you propel your business into new markets or even just help your customers better understand what you offer. Check out our business name change checklist below to get a brief explanation on how to go about changing the name of a business and rebranding strategies.
Before you begin a rebrand of your company, you must understand what’s wrong with the current branding. Is your name difficult to pronounce, in a foreign language that doesn’t resonate with your customers, obscure, childish, or lackluster? There can be many reasons why a name or branding doesn’t work out. Figure out what’s wrong so you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Once you figure out why you want to change the name and branding, it’s time to focus on the customers. Understanding your customers is the first step to successfully marketing a product or service. Who is your target market? If your target customers are children, your name is going to need to be a lot different than if your target customers are college educated blue collar workers.
Create a buyer persona for your company that includes all of the most important information about the ideal customer you want to attract. Consider this a profile of your target customer based on real data that includes items like gender, income, job title, family size, etc. You should give this persona a name and a face so you can imagine this person viewing your brand. For more information about targeted marketing and marketing segmentation check out our articles “What is the definition of market segmentation” and “Targeted marketing, understanding the basics.” Tailor all of your branding and messaging to this desired target market and make sure you always ask yourself this question or similar: “Would Joe/Jill Customer resonate with this ad/image/blog/social media post?”.
Brainstorm a list of names that are a better fit for your brand. Be sure to check if website domains are available for these names. The worst feeling is coming up with a star-studded, unique name idea, then finding out the domain for that brand is going to cost $10,000 more than you have to spend. Also be sure to research the best names and find out if anyone else in your industry has already taken them. Even worse than missing out on the ideal URL for your website is running into legal issues with your business.
There are 4 main types of business names: functional, invented, experiential, and evocative names. Each name type can be wildly successful, given the right branding and marketing to go along with them. Functional names usually consist of a description of the company’s product or service. Think Toys R Us and Bank of America. Invented names are made up words or obscure words most people aren’t likely to know. Think Google, Pixar, or Kodak. Experiential names connect to something real but can have a touch of imagination. Think Safari, Netscape, Vanguard. Evocative names use suggestion or metaphor to let the customer interpret what your brand does. Think Amazon, Apple, Hooters.
Determine the legal changes that must be made to change your name. This can differ depending on the type of business you own. You may want to change your name entirely with every legal agency, such as the IRS, secretary of state, etc. This may result in a new EIN (employer identification number) for your business. Or you may be able to file a DBA (doing business as) with the new name, keeping the old name legally and using the new name as a front-facing name for your branding. Either way, you must notify the government that you plan on doing business under a different name. Make sure to update your licenses and permits to include the new name if necessary.
There are some obvious things that need to change with a name update including a logo, verbiage/content on your website, and physical marketing materials such as signage and brochures. And there are some not so obvious things that may need to change, such as company colors, imagery, and the way you speak to your customers. You may want to hire a professional marketing firm to handle the rebranding process to make sure your logo and other visual assets are on point. You may also want to trademark your logo if you’re concerned about another designer ripping off your design or using it inappropriately, but this step is not necessary in most cases.
Let your customers know about changing your business name. Returning customers might think they’re in the wrong place or customers who have heard about you with your old name might not be able to find you. Send multiple email blasts to your subscribers with a rebranding announcement, post on social media, and make it obvious on your website that you used to have one name and now have another. Use every channel you can find to let your customers know that they can still get the great product or service they’ve come to love. You can even make a blog post or a page on your website about why you decided to change your name. This not only lets your current and potential customers know who you are and used to be, but it will help users who don’t know still find you when searching for your old name.
Rebranding with a business name change is a demanding and tedious process. Aside from the research and legal changes that must be made, updating your branding everywhere is a lot of work. You must scour the internet for mentions of your old name and redesign every physical marketing material you have. Everything from your website to your business cards must have your new name and branding. That’s why we recommend hiring a marketing and branding professional to help guide you through the rebranding process. If you want to know more about the importance of branding, check out our article “Branding and its role in marketing” for more information.
When our team was just starting out, we had a preconceived notion that email marketing was outdated. We thought, “Why would a business waste hours on creating emails that were going to inevitably be sent to the trash or spam folder?”
Boy, were we wrong. We quickly learned that email marketing was and continues to be a very valuable technique to retain users, keep them loyal to your brand, and guide them through the buying journey.
Email marketing is also a very cost effective form of marketing. A study completed in 2015 by the DMA reported that for every £1 spent on email marketing, an average return of £38 could be expected. This was a huge increase from the £24.93 reported just two years before. There are few strategies or techniques proven to be as successful for return on investment as email marketing.
Email marketing is pretty self explanatory. A business builds an email list (hopefully of opted-in candidates), creates emails that drive users to a task, and strategically send those emails to their contact list.
These emails can be weekly or monthly newsletters, new product releases, news, updates, deals, sales, reminders, etc. You can also use programs that send automated emails reminding users of abandoned carts, coupon codes or deals they haven’t used yet, welcome messages, or birthday wishes.
Each email is a reminder that the brand exists and cares enough to reach out to their customers. An email can be a nudge that convinces your user to return to an abandoned cart, an invite to follow on social media, or a deal the user can’t help but return to use. If your brand is memorable, your customer is much more likely to use your services or buy your products in the future.
Email marketing can be an important portion of your customer relationship management (CRM.) CRM is a strategy that analyzes data about the history of users interacting with your brand to improve your future interactions and maintain a relationship with your customer. By evaluating the customer and their previous history with your business, you can better interact with that customer and more accurately target future users.
A CRM system can be invaluable to a business and there are many to choose from that can be integrated into your website and analytics. Our go-to is a free CRM by Hubspot. It’s simple to install, easy to use, and best of all, it’s totally free. IntellaSphere is another CRM with a free option worth noting. They also have paid tiers with features that may be valuable to your business.
It can be vastly important for a business to build a subscriber list. These users opt in for future promotional ads and can be used again and again, as long as they stay subscribed. You can advertise the benefits of becoming a subscriber on your website or you can automatically opt in users who sign up or make an account on your website.
The first step to building a subscriber list is to create a sign-up form on your website. You can build a pop up that directs users to sign up when they first view the site, or you can pepper it around the website, in blogs, on social media, or even paid ads. Even placing a sign up form at a physical event or tradeshow can add more subscribers to your list. The strategies are up to you and the avenues you see fit to best advertise your newsletter.
Entice users to sign up by offering an incentive for the use of their email. No one wants to sign up for spam. This can be a deal, discount code, free product, important or useful articles or information, contest entry, etc. The sky's the limit. Just make sure what you’re offering is enough to encourage users to sign up. Don’t bait and switch. You’re likely to lose the subscriber if they don’t receive what was promised.
You may receive offers to buy email lists, though we don’t recommend this because it’s a shady tactic to email users who haven’t blatantly opted in to your ads. In a worst case scenario, it can get your mailing platform account, email, or even the entire domain shut down by Icann.
If an email gets flagged as spam, all other emails you send that user will be sent to spam, losing a valuable subscriber along the way. If enough of your emails are marked as spam, Google and other email platforms may mark your entire email as a source of spam and direct every email you send straight to spam folders. It’s also likely to affect other people using the same servers as you to send the email. This is just a bad move for everyone involved. You may also waste money on emails that aren’t even real or useful. The best technique is to offer a benefit and let the subscribers come to you.
Your emails should direct users to satisfy your goals. If your goal is to increase users’ time on page, sending them to a blog article may be advantageous. If the goal is to increase sales, sending them to your shop page or a specific product could help. If you want to get more likes or followers on social media, sending them to some great content on your profile may be just the boost you need. Each email should have a goal and the links in your email should drive all users to attain your goals.
Be sure to use powerful CTAs (calls to action) in your emails and make them really obvious. You could use “buy now” or “learn more,” but those CTAs don’t really invoke a strong feeling in your user and are less likely to convince your user to click than a CTA that makes them curious to see what’s behind the button. A stronger CTA in this case would be “take the test and find out…” or “discover your true…” or “get your free…” I like to make my links bright, unmistakable buttons so they can’t be missed.
All the time. It may seem like spam to you, but reminding your users your brand exists is vastly important. Monthly or weekly newsletters are pretty reasonable and are unlikely to overwhelm a user as long as the content is valuable. Use these to update your user on new releases and sales, events, etc.
Sometimes you can get away with multiple emails a week if you’re offering something worthwhile or reminding users that “time is running out” on a great deal, though you can definitely lose subscribers this way if you do it too often.
The best strategy to send many emails without scaring away subscribers is to offer valuable content in your emails. Users are likely to stay engaged if they are receiving great deals or information they actually want to use.
Your emails must also employ attention-grabbing or enticing subject lines and excerpts, otherwise they can get lost in their sea of emails. Also ensure your emails are clear, visually pleasing, and free from spelling or grammar errors. Spelling and grammar errors are usually a quick indicator of spam mail.
There are many options for mass emailing platforms. Mailchimp offers 2,000 contacts with 10,000 free emails a month with paid plans for users that need to send more. Hubspot CRM free marketing tools offer 2,000 emails per month with a paid upgraded version. Constant Contact offers unlimited emails starting at $20 a month, so it’s a great contender to consider for a business that needs to send a lot of emails for a small investment. Most platforms offer customizable templates and make designing custom emails fast and easy. These platforms also give analytics on the campaigns and customers.
The price and feature differentiation between platforms is vast. The paid plans for Mailchimp start at $9.99 and the paid version of Hubspot’s marketing tools cost $800 per month. The services provided by each platform overlap and vary, so it’s really up to you and your needs to determine what platform will be best for your business.
Your chosen email platform should do most of the work. You can use their analytics and integrate them with your CRM to really dive deep into the data. The email platform should track open rate and click through rate on its own.
And adding unique tracking codes (UTM) to your emails can help you record the customer’s journey. A UTM tracking code is a URL that redirects to your landing page so you can track which users are coming from your email. Without a UTM tracking code, it’s difficult to identify which users that visited your website came from the email.
Depending on the platform and features, you can also A/B test your emails to determine the successfulness of each email structure, offer, call to action, etc. This is also valuable for categorizing your subscribers. If you find some users are more likely to buy, complete a desired action, or just interact more with specific types of emails, you can separate them from the main list and market to them differently than the rest of your subscribers.
Email marketing is an invaluable tool for many businesses. Its low cost and high return on investment makes it one of the best tactics you can implement to retain customers and boost conversions. At Symphysis, we highly recommend implementing an email strategy and offer consulting to help your team make the most of your email marketing strategies. Contact us today to speak with one of our consultants.