Every so often, a company comes to us to explore a rebrand, which typically involves questioning its name, logo or identity, and any other assets associated with it. We often see businesses wanting to do rebrands when a merger or acquisition closes, or when their brand feels dated and needs an upgrade.
A rebrand usually starts with looking at the company name. Naming isn’t easy. We lead clients through a variety of exercises to understand their short- and long-term goals before we start to brainstorm names. Then, we often put together a long list to whittle down concepts before we pick the new or updated name.
If you find yourself going through a rebranding exercise and are in the midst of identifying that perfect name, you’ll want to do your due diligence, as follows:
- Do a business search to see if the name is being used anywhere else. ( Go to https://businesssearch.sos.ca.gov/.)
- Do a trademark search. (If you’re in the U.S., go to https://www.uspto.gov/.)
- Do a Google search— in English, Spanish, and other languages that could impact your target market.
- Search social media handles (especially Twitter and Instagram). If you're leaning toward a few names, create the social accounts so you can hold on to them.
- Check for the domain name availability. (Go to https://www.godaddy.com/domains/domain-name-search.)
- Check Urban Dictionary. It’s good to know if your name has an unexpected meaning.
- When googling, consider your competition so you stand out. (You want to be different, but not too different.)
- Make sure your name is easy to pronounce.
- If you include a location or element in your name (like "coastal waves"), it can limit your geography, etc. This could be good or bad depending on your strategy.
Once you’ve secured your name, the next step is to look at your brand identity. This includes your logo, brand style, and brand voice guide. From there, you usually prioritize updating key marketing collateral and your website. All this will eventually lead to a brand launch, where you promote your rebrand on social media, with advertising outlets, and in your physical workplace. See the CCMI rebrand story for an example.
Bottom line, start with your business strategy and let that be the foundation that leads into your brand name, identity, and all your marketing. Have questions? Don't hesitate to reach out to discuss the ins and outs.