Implementing a brand name change does not have to lead to panic or rumors of your business’s demise.
Hoaxes and rumors abound on Twitter. Recently the news of Tina Turner’s suspected demise got Twitter all chirpy. Much to everyone’s relief the incredible Turner lives to sing many more days. And so can your company following a brand name change.
All it takes to get a rumor going is for one person to share what they think is really good information, however incorrect, with another who shares it with another—and boom, you have a panic situation. During a recent consultation, a business owner related to me how they implemented a brand name change and later discovered that many of their friends, customers and prospective customers thought the company had ceased business.
If you want to change your company name, how can you do it and make sure your customers are fully informed and aware of the change?
Steps to prevent the rumors of your firm’s demise during a brand name change
- Involve your customers in the brand name change process. Crowdsourcingis a great way to learn what your customers think about your proposed brand identity.
- Post the news of the brand name change in your establishment. If your firm is digital only, be sure to post the news prominently on your website, blog and share via social media.
- Distribute a press release with the details of the name change and distribute it to your local media. Explain all the details of why your firm is choosing to change the brand name. Telling the story in a compelling and interesting way to help people remember the reasons why you changed names.
- Post the press release on on online press release distribution channels so that it is visible online.
- Plan and send a direct mail campaign to your current customers (you do have a customer database don’t you?) and to individuals who fit your customer demographics and are within a reasonable radius of your establishment. If you are a service provider, purchase, rent or borrow a database of customers who fit your demo and send the direct mail campaign to them. Your direct mail campaign may be “snail mail” or e-mail, or even both. If you choose to do both snail mail and e-mail, use them to different aspects of the name change; employing a Burma Shave style incremental teaser campaign.
- Purchase advertising placements so you can be sure your message is seen in the media most consumed by your customers. Digital media placements are reasonably affordable as are weekly community newspapers. Community newspapers are frequently read by parents looking for news of schools, churches, and clubs. As for digital media, consider placing ads on the most visited sites in your community if you must reach a broad audience. If you are hyper-focused or B2B, consider placing digital ads on the authoritative sites most frequented by your customers. Also consider a Google AdWords campaign to reach those searching for your goods, products and services.
If you undertake these initiatives before, during and after your brand name change, rumors of your demise will not fill your Twitter stream.
Photo credit: Tina Turner by flickr creative commons user GenerationBass