From the Experts: How to Deal with a Company Name Change

From the Experts: How to Deal with a Company Name Change

cat&tonic founder Megan Devine

Minneapolis marketing agency d.trio recently changed its name to cat&tonic to reflect the company’s growth. Megan Devine, one of the three founders who founded the agency in 2000, took sole ownership in 2019 and believes the name change will help steer the agency into the future. Having just completed the name change process, she advises other companies and brands before making major changes.

  1. preliminary consideration. Explore whether your name is dated and whether it reflects your company’s values, culture and people. Also, does it speak to the customers or potential audience you want to attract? If your name has brand equity, that’s an important consideration. Or, maybe a new name will help you better meet your business goals.
  2. move forward. Decide where your business will go (shifting focus, offering new products and services, reaching new customer audiences or industries, etc.). Does your name need to be down-to-earth, serious, fun or creative? Consider whether you have the resources and time to go through the process without taking shortcuts. A new name means a new logo, new branding, a new website, and many other changes that you use every day.
  3. Define your process. Use the process that works best for your team and define the criteria by which ideas are judged. including employees. Let people make suggestions. Choose someone to lead the project and encourage them to bring orderly phases into the process. Our phases are Define, Ideate, Iterate, Refine and Decide. Talk to peers in the industry and vet competitor brands. Create flexible task lists and schedules. Don’t forget to contact your legal, accounting and technical teams ahead of time to give them time to do their thing.
  4. Things to avoid. Avoid parody naming and pick your favorite words (they’re probably all taken). Unless you’re in a conservative industry and your naming process takes you there, don’t play it too safe.
  5. Present it to the world. Take the time to communicate the name change across channels. Your audience wants to know what you’re doing and why. Be open and honest.
  • Create and share brand guidelines internally to engage employees.
  • Consider doing a short teaser campaign before launch – it’s a fun way to get your team engaged and excited.
  • Write a press release and hire a PR firm to help get the word out.
  • Update your social media pages and website and get people involved to create an even bigger buzz.
  • Write customer and supplier notifications ahead of time and have them ready to send the day of launch.
  • Create new digital templates for marketing and sales materials (newsletters, invoices, etc.).
  • Write blogs and articles to tell your story.

Read more in this issue

The cover of the Fall 2022 issue of StartMN, an entrepreneurship-focused publication from the Twin Cities Business Journal

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