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Promoting a New Brand Name
Adopting a new company name isn’t enough. If an organization is really proud of its new moniker – and it ought to be – then promoting the new identity with all its important constituent publics is a necessity.
Here are the steps that a proud company should follow in letting its publics know who exactly it has become:
∗ First, preview the new name internally.
Give the employees the first glimpse of the new identity and the rationale behind it. These people, after all, are the keepers of the new flame. They must be supportive – the faddish term is “buy-in” – so get them in the tent early.
This implies holding employee meetings to announce – with appropriate bells and whistles – the new name and its meaning. It means redesigning the employee intranet to reflect and herald the new name. It means distributing advertising PDFs on the campaign that will launch the new name. It means supplying coffee mugs and key rings and Lucite cubes and all that jazz to make the new name tangible.
∗ Second, announce the new name externally with appropriate pomp.
Don’t just sneak the name out. Let the media know the reasons and background for switching names.
Here’s the kind of statement we encourage: “Our new name suggests the innovative, interactive and dynamic qualities of a company poised for growth. This new identity signals a company that has reconfigured itself to confront the challenges of a competitive world dominated by technology and speed.” Et Cetera.
How one acts externally suggests the confidence with which the new name is held. Ergo, say it loud and say it proud.
∗ Third, integrate the new name into presentations for all key publics, including investors.
Analysts should begin referring to the company under its new handle as quickly as possible. The quicker the Street stops referring to you as “the former Blickstein Company,” the better.
The theme of analyst presentations, in fact, should be wrapped around the new identity: “Our new name is more than just a new word. It is symbolic of how this organization has moved into new markets and plans to continue its momentum.” Et Cetera.
∗ Fourth, don’t forget your customers.
After a new name is announced in a news release and in advertising, organizations frequently forget to massage customers so that they, too feel comfortable and conversant with the new moniker. Make sure your customers and clients (and suppliers) understand the rationale. Blog it out there for all to see. Distribute literature on the derivation of the new identity. The CEO should write personally to special clients...