6 steps to a new company name
Standing still is like a step backwards, and especially during and after a difficult period, we can often recognize where changes are necessary and where optimization is needed. Recognizing the need for change early on and adjusting one’s own business actions accordingly is currently a factor of success. And most of all, a great chance to emerge from difficult times even stronger. Sometimes it is also necessary to change the company or brand name. You can find out how to successfully realign and rename your company in our guide. Because one thing is clear - a name change is a delicate and complex process in which numerous factors must be considered. We’d like to help you step by step in this exciting phase of your business with this guide.
Step 1: A new name is needed
The right moment has come! Do you want a new company or brand name, or do you feel you’ve somehow “outgrown” your current name? Then start an in-depth brainstorming session with the team. Take enough time to determine favorites and consider them critically. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are there similarities in the name to a competitor?
- Does a similar, well-known brand name already exist?
- Is there a connection to your brand and your company?Could the name also work on the international market or could it possibly lead to misunderstandings?
- Is the name easy to remember and is it recognizable?
Afterwards, start researching online to find out whether your favorite names are still available as domains and on social media networks. The tools Lean Domain Search
can be helpful with this.
Tip: Once you’ve chosen your favorites and have checked them thoroughly, gather feedback from your employees or privately from your own social circle. That way you can check how the new name is received by outside parties and whether it will eventually lead to misunderstandings in pronunciation, spelling or meaning. This also allows you to bring a few trusted people on board.
After this first standard check, the choice is yours and you can select the “winner”. Don't forget to legally check for any trademark infringements afterwards. It is best to play it safe and consult a legal expert or the appropriate trademark and patent office.
Step 2: Preparation is everything
Look into the necessary steps for a name change in accordance with your type of business. A name change for large companies and limited liability companies can require more work. Check which legal steps are necessary - for example, does a decision need to be reached in a meeting of shareholders or is a notarization required? In addition to the company’s internal processes, you should also consider which agencies need to be informed of the name change. Don’t forget that a name change must also be reported in the commercial register and at the trade office. Next, consider where your company or product name will appear and how it needs to be changed. Also think about associations, cooperation partners, telephone books, business registers and company directories. Be aware that a name change on social media and other platforms can take a while, so give yourself and your team enough time to accommodate this.
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Step 3: Recognize opportunities and risks
A name change carries with it many benefits and allows you to start anew with a breath of fresh air. Take hold of the opportunity to realign your company or brand - for example, you can tap into a completely new target group, make the dream of international business success a reality or sustainably strengthen your company in your region, making it number one. However, despite all the benefits associated with a name change, you should not lose sight of the costs and risks. A name change always results in expenses and these should be well planned out so as to avoid any “bad” surprises. We recommend that you create a cost plan in advance.
Keep in mind that, in addition to administrative costs, you will also acquire expenses for legal counselling and audits, as well as for advertising materials and the readjustment of the company’s image. On the other hand, the name change process can also require a lot of personal effort. Involve your team in good time so that development and implementation are successful and so that the schedule can be maintained.
Tip: Don’t forget to include time buffers and define implementation milestones.
During the entire planning process, you should be aware of possible risks in order to specifically prevent them. A name change always requires vigorous persuasion. We as people are “creatures of habit” and become attached to a company and brand image, which is precisely why intuition and a professional communication concept are required here. With all the risks of high costs or possible insecurity of the target group one thing is clear - if the costs are well calculated, the project is well planned and your customers and your business environment are well prepared, you selectively minimize the risks. Thus, there are no unnecessary losses, just the chance to reinspire customers and partners.
Step 4: Signal your new start
A new name is always a new start. Promises however, must be followed by actions. And in addition to a new name, your customers also expect a new strategy and attractive benefits, as well as a unified company image. To ensure that a name change aligns with a consistent company image, you should ideally also update or at least adapt your logo and slogan. Signal your new start and work out special benefits and offers to make the change agreeable to customers. This brings us to the next step - the concept.
Step 5: You need a concept
For you as an entrepreneur that means extra communicative effort. After all, you have to inform your employees, customers, suppliers, and partners in good time about the new name change and explain to them plausibly why you are changing the name, along with which advantages it will bring them. With your communication concept, you not only have to convey enough information, but also inspire.
Tip: Create a comprehensive communication concept and use all your communication channels - from social media and websites, to newsletters and various print media. With a multimedia concept, you not only impress existing customers but also business partners, new customers and the general public. In doing so, highlight specific benefits and positive innovations while providing informational content about the “big” news.
Change can be difficult for many people. To make it easier for your target group, you can well prepare them for the news. A proven way is to make the updates more appealing to them with small “teasers” early on and to spark curiosity. That way you avoid catching your target group “off-guard” and upsetting them with the new name change. Of course, you can also involve your customers in smaller decisions this way and gather opinions using flash surveys. This gives you the unique opportunity to strengthen the feeling of belonging within the company.
Tip: If curiosity has been sparked, you shouldn’t keep your customers, friends or fans waiting for much longer. Because stalling for too long can become frustrating and can work against what you want to achieve and the interest will be lost. Choose the middle ground between excitement and providing a lot of information.
Step 6: From concept to new image
Once the marketing concept has been established, it is time for implementation. Now there is much to do. For example, print materials, such as stationery, business cards, packing material or image folders, to the online image, such as the website, social media or banners - everything is waiting to be aligned with the new company image. This is the best time to freshen up your advertising materials and to use the opportunity analyze what you already have and insire with new attractive advertising material. We know that this is an intense phase for you and your team, and more than once you may feel as though the light at the end of the tunnel is still far away. Keep a cool head and look forward to strengthening your company image together, putting your comprehensive concept into practice and carrying it out into the world.
We wish you much success and the courage to embrace new paths and seize opportunities for your entrepreneurial future.