5 Things to Consider When Updating Your Brand’s Name

Changing Your Brand's Name is No Easy Task. Image by Wikipedia. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL.
Changing Your Brand’s Name is No Easy Task. Image by Wikipedia. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL.

 

 

It’s rough being a woman in business. Especially when you are single when you launch your company/brand. Because the day will come for many of us to have to change our name.

We see numerous celebrities simply keep their name while a few do make the switch. So do you create the hyphenated birth given name with your spouses or do you simply take on theirs?

Now I’m no celebrity, but having penned a marketing book being sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores, plus have appeared in various top media outlets. So what is a woman in business to do when the day arrives and she needs to decide how to handle her last name?

As my mind wandered over the possible solutions, it occurred to me I should probably take this task on like I would for any client doing the same. Many things to consider for both brand personalities and organizations making a change in their name, but really let’s just focus on simply the business considerations for now and not the marital ones. What should one consider when updating their brand’s name?

Changing your brand’s name is no overnight decision. In fact, it can be quit the daunting task. Clearly the right reasons are needed to warrant the change, but it is certainly doable and often makes sense as you will see below.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when updating your brand’s name:

  1. Consider the timing of changing the name. Making a move of this magnitude for your business should be done well in advanced of your typical busy sales cycle. It would make a very small dent in improvement for a retailer to change their name in the middle of the Christmas season. Be sure to start in a time where sales are often slower for you and competitors. Also, keep in mind once you feel your customers have lost a connection or relevance of your brand to their needs, it is a good time to change things up.
  2. Be sure the new name will reflect an automatic association to your product or service offerings. This is where you draw the line and decide if you want an abstract name, ownership name or a name to reflect services offered. Such as Relational Software who is now Oracle or ValueJet Airlines to AirTran.
  3. Changing just a name will be fruitless to your customers if you are not offering new things as well with this drastic change. Does the name change indicate new services or products? How you shake stale relationships up by remaining useful to your demographics is something to carefully consider.
  4. Review the marketplace for other names similar to your possible new one. You will not want customers to get you confused or assume some new association amongst yourself and the other company. More importantly you do not want to end up on the wrong end of an infringement case claiming you are using a trademarked term. So be sure to check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and WHOIS.
  5. Develop a plan to communicate this change with your customers. Ensure you cover all avenues of outreach to your existing database as well as sharing the information with the public through the media. Do not leave either party in the dark. If you do, this will negate any efforts of changing the name and keeping loyal customers.

You may wonder, why would you want to make a name change? Could you imagine saying, “I’m going to go BackRub that topic and get back to you”? BackRub, being the original name for Google. Clearly Quantum Computer Services, now known as America Online, was another positive name change despite their fall in the marketplace.

Names bring forth emotional ties. A relationship is build with a name. People learn to count on the name to automatically mean one thing. Transforming a name means a change in the relationship with your demographics. It is important for brands to handle recreating a relationship with care. Even more importantly is the fact names have stories surrounding them.

In making a change in a brand’s name what new stories can be told should be something heavily considered throughout the process. To go further, one can expect the new stories to be embraced even more if the right new offerings accompany it and the current customer base is in-the-know.

While I will not tackle if a woman should change her last name or not, but looking at it from a business perspective of a branded personality truly does provide a lot of things to consider.

What do you think? About changing a brand’s name, not a woman changing her last name. The latter is a personal choice, don’t you think?

Leave your comments below. They may be used for future posts.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, digital marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.

 

 

 

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What “Buzz” Can Do for You

The lunch crowd waiting for their tables inside of Gladys' and Ron's Chicken and Waffles in Downtown Atlanta. Photo by Above Promotions. Tampa, FL 2012.
The lunch crowd waiting for their tables inside of Gladys' and Ron's Chicken and Waffles in Downtown Atlanta. Photo by Above Promotions. Tampa, FL 2012.
The lunch crowd waiting for their tables inside of Gladys’ and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles in Downtown Atlanta. Photo by Above Promotions. Tampa, FL 2012.

I have to preface today’s blog with a little bit of background. Recently while at a good friend’s barbecue during Labor Day weekend in beautiful St. Petersburg, FL, the conversation ventured on the subject of Atlanta and a few good restaurants. Not really knowing I would make a sudden trip to the area in the near future, this discussion would have more meaning to me than originally thought.

During the talk, one person claimed that Gladys’ place was really great. They went on and on over what items they liked. While another person said they were disappointed during their visit. Since it had been quite a few years since my last trip to Atlanta, I was unaware that two people I respected greatly in the music world, Gladys Knight and Ronald Winans, had come together for a joint venture known as Gladys Knights’ and Ronald Winans’ Chicken and Waffles.

Fast forward to this past weekend. Another friend and a college sorority sister made references on me visiting Gladys’ place during my visit. I have to admit, based on the previous conversation earlier in the month, I was not gung-ho about patronizing the restaurant. However, during a conversation on where we were having a late breakfast, I folded to hesitation and went with the option to visit the Chicken And Waffles establishment.

It is known that this local downtown restaurant can easily be packed inside with a crowd and on the outside with people awaiting a chance to get a table for what is said to be one of the best soul food restaurants and landmarks in the area. In spite of arriving 10 minutes before it opened, there was a line formed outside with people hungry for what was inside as shown in the image above.

Although the crowd is orderly, there is a security guard that works the outside to help keep it that way. No really. Take a look at the next picture.

Security guard keeps order outside of Gladys' and Ron's Chicken and Waffles in Downtown Atlanta. Photo by Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
Security guard keeps order outside of Gladys’ and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles in Downtown Atlanta. Photo by Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.

Not really sure if it’s for the patrons or the large population of homeless individuals in the area behind the restaurant. Ideal or not, the street dwellers do not prevent locals and tourists from waiting to feast on highly rated food.

So what makes this place a hit? How can others in the restaurant industry or any other field generate this type of buzz?  Here are a few thoughts:

  • Get a celebrity or two! Well maybe not just any celebrity, let’s face it. In the same city, Justin’s, a restaurant titled after the namesake of Sean Combs‘ son, wasn’t able to survive off of just a name. Although Gladys Knight and Ronald Winans are brands themselves, it is the love of food from Gladys’ son, Shanga Hankerson, that keeps the restaurant going. So it’s not really a surefire way to keep customers, but it is a way to spark interest. Perhaps you can’t afford international names such as these mentioned. However, you can find other ways to entice local celebrities to be active at the establishment, if your desire is not to convince them to partner with you. There will be some hesitancy by many people on this thought, but take a look at many of your charitable events in the area. People aren’t just using local big names to occupy space on advertisements.
  • Great environment. There’s something about using the proper mix of colors and furniture laced with employees eager to provide great service that creates a great environment for customers. This particular business used warm earth tones in an upscale way to attract crowds who will enjoy paying for food and the chance to say they ate at a known location. Views of their musical background can also be spotted throughout the establishment. Just a small reminder of where you’re dining. Ambiance is everything and reviewing yours on a regular basis should be a key part of your branding strategy.
  • Great product selection. Although everyone’s taste buds and backgrounds are different, it would be hard pressed to say the selection of food or even how it is presented or cooked doesn’t reflect a southerner’s background. And for that area of Atlanta, it’s refreshing to see a place to grab a variety of comfort food. When people think of your restaurant or store, do the items you sell reflect what people would expect?

Despite my original hesitancy to eat there during my visit, I have to admit the “buzz” got the best of me. Although this restaurant may reflect different tastes amongst different individuals, it is easy to conclude they have generated a serious buzz over Gladys’ and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles.

I won’t say if you should visit them or not, but somehow I have a feeling after reading this post you will end up there.

Ok. I want to know. Have you ever been sucked into going to someplace over “buzz”? Share with us.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out how to purchase the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

Are YOU Using THE Most Annoying Phrase During a Media Interview?

The Most Annoying Phrase During Media Interviews. Photo Courtesy of John De Boer. Above Promotions Company Tampa, FL. 2012.
The Most Annoying Phrase During Media Interviews. Photo Courtesy of John De Boer. Above Promotions Company Tampa, FL. 2012.
The Most Annoying Phrase During Media Interviews. Photo Courtesy of John De Boer. Above Promotions Company Tampa, FL. 2012.

We probably should have conducted an official poll for this as this is really more or less a media consultant’s pet peeve. Although there was no survey with 1,000 participants attempting to discover what is the most annoying phrase used during interviews, some time was spent looking for facts or results from others to back up the claim being presented today. However for some reason, our searches all ended up with career interview don’ts. Essentially, one could stretch the concept of what NOT to say during a media interview into the career building area, but let’s just focus on selling yourself and brand to the general public today.

So picture this. You’re watching or listening to an interview by a celebrity. They are deemed the ambassador for a brand. The entire interview that is focused on this particular brand contains the words “You Know” in every other sentence.

Ahhhhhhh! It is pretty safe to say that media professionals around the world can feel their blood boil when this happens. Here’s why:

  • One should always be prepared to speak to the media on a topic it represents. Without being prepared, the person finds themself searching for filler words while they attempt to communicate effective words. The filler words add no value and take up precious airtime.
  • If the audience “knew” what the person was trying to say, 9 times out of 10, the interview would not be taking place. The public wouldn’t need to waste their time following the interview.
  • People need words to flow. Obtrusive breaks only prevents the listener from concentrating on the message or completely turns them off.
  • Live interviews are becoming more rare these days thanks to video and podcasts that can be played on-demand. Not being prepared for a live show is not only a bad look for the brand, but also a waste of valuable time before the public.

More than likely most producers for news programs or talk shows would reconsider inviting the guest again in the future. So it is important to ensure you or your representative is prepared to speak to the public.

Now that you know what we feel is to be the most annoying phrase during a media interview. It has to be asked. Are you using this phrase during your interviews? If so, kill it now. Practice until its gone or in the least sparsely used.

We want to hear from you. How do you feel about “You Know”? If it isn’t the most annoying phrase to you, please share one you think tops it.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

Be sure to buy your copy of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” TODAY at www.abovepromotions.com.