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Corporate Name Change - Task List / Checklist
8/29/2007 at 11:45 AM ET
I will soon begin the process of changing our company's name. We already have the branding work done (we are simply extending our product brand) and I'm just trying to plan out in practical terms what will need to be changed as part of this.
Does anyone have a checklist/work list they've worked from in the past? Alternatively, helpful suggestions/additions to my existing list would be appreciated. I reckon that the more I can pre-identify, the easier and smoother the process will be.
A brief brainstorming session yielded the following list of things that will need to be done:
Front Door sign
Website - content
Website - domain & technical
Web Directories & Lists
Company Policy Documents
HR Documents & Forms
8/29/2007 at 11:54 AM
What you are giving us here is a list of touchpoints, and it seems that you are talking about the graphic solutions to these touchpoints.
Obviously your intention is to put the new name on them.
You also tell us that the branding work has been done.
Now I am confused as to what is your definition of "branding"?
For me, branding is a completely different issue.
It is not adding a new name onto some materials you use.
I'm sure that many other members of this forum will feel the same.
I think you need some outside help.
The check-list you are talking about could only be developed if one knows you, knows what you stand for, what your values are externally and internally, and if you have brand integrity.
Feel free to call me and discuss all this.
8/29/2007 at 12:33 PM
Some points of clarification:
When I say that "the branding work has been done", I mean that we've already gone through the process of researching, testing, evaluating and developing a name and brand for our product line, which we have now chosen to extend into the company. We're very comfortable with the brand, it tested well, has been accepted by our customer base and the market, etc.
The impetus for this is that we're currently in a situation where we're obligated to discontinue the current company name.
The net of it is that I am solely interested in practical suggestions and experiences in the process of corporate name changing from a corporate & marketing perspective.
Hope that clarifies things! Thanks for the responses so far.
8/29/2007 at 1:00 PM
Don't forget your telephone: how people answer the phone, answering machine message, and phone book.
Whatever you do, do it gradually, fading out the old name and introducing the new name. If you do it too abruptly, you'll confuse your existing clients and lose the goodwill your previous name has generated.
8/29/2007 at 7:12 PM
Do you have the option of running a few ads to announce the change and make sure the industry has an opportunity to understand what you're doing and why this is good for individual customers?
To me that communication is the most important thing of all. I'd also be sure all your sales reps have a talk-sheet of some kind that positions the change and presents it as a benefit for their customers.
People will forgive an omission or mistake in the mechanical things, but they will be a lot less forgiving if you don't share the thinking with them (that led to the change). You can seize this opportunity and turn it into a very positive communication about your brand positioning promise.
8/29/2007 at 7:39 PM
You never really know how deeply you've branded a company until you change it's name.
I have recently performed an exit strategy on a product brand. What is most important (following what Jay stated) is that you inform your entire customer base ahead of time. This is also a good time to illustrate new innovations, features, benefits to your product and/or service leaving the customer assured the change is based on consumer or b2b research performed which you've done. Some customers will create their own reasons for your new brand that may not be positive. Script it out well and deliver it as personally as you can.
Also, consider press releases that are in cue for publishing. These can show up in print 6 months down the line. The list you've created is good...those changes must be made. How the changes are performed, timing, execution are all critical.
We performed the change entirely in-house with no loss, so it is possible. Good luck.
8/29/2007 at 7:44 PM
One more thing to add to your list is to trademark your new name.
Sorry, mgoodman...you posted up while I was writing...similar thoughts.
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