So, what’s in a company name? Um, just about everything.
I was speaking to a client this week about rebranding. He told me he was getting tired of the name of his company and wanted a change. His current company name includes his surname and the service he provides, which is really not that bad, so why change it? Over the last ten years he has moved away from his core business and is offering many more services than when he first went into business.
For example, Kiers Marketing started as Kiers Productions in 1984, and became Kiers Communications in 1997. That was fine when the company started 35 years ago, but over time, people saw communications as cell phones and pagers. In 2002, after ownership of the business changed hands, we changed our name to Kiers Marketing to better reflect what we do, which is marketing. Did we get rid of the Kiers name? Not a chance. There are a lot of years of brand equity with the Kiers name that we didn’t want to lose.
Back to my client…so yes, he is changing the name of his company but he’s keeping his surname in the new name because of the brand equity. For instance, when I say some local last names, I bet you can tell me what business they are in. Cain, Wilson, Leachman’s, Daley’s, Gardiner, Northrup and many more. See what I mean about the brand equity being built on the family name.
If I were starting a new business today, I probably wouldn’t use my last name. I would use something that was relevant to the product or service I was selling. But not something that is so far out there that potential customers would not make the immediate connection of what the company did. Company names are really important and need to be carefully thought out, this applies to both new and existing companies.