“Seeing the new name in full context bolsters confidence and minimizes potential dissent.”
When re-naming a company, a big part of the new name’s success rests on proper socialization. It’s important to keep in mind that every employee of a company feels some ownership of the name, as their employment is a major part of their individual identities.
Whether they love or hate the name, you can bet they’ll be talking about it. To ensure your people feel ownership of the new name, there are several steps you can take to empower them to be positive ambassadors.
During the naming process:
- Be transparent: Early on, be open about the process. Offering a presentation — or at least a detailed email — that explains the process and reasons for re-naming will help everyone feel included and prepared for the eventual change.
- Be inclusive: Consider including employees in the naming process.
- Choose a selection of “influencers” at varying levels in the organization to provide input on what they see as important considerations for the new name. This can be achieved through online surveys, phone interviews or in-person discussions.
- If you’re handling the naming process internally, consider inviting employees to submit name suggestions. This may or may not produce useful names, but it will certainly help with engagement.
When the name is set in stone:
- Time it right: Roll out the name internally shortly before rolling it out externally. No one wants to hear about their company’s name change from the media.
- Have your ducks in a row: When it’s time to socialize the name, you should present it with the new word mark and/or logo, and the major pieces of new collateral should be ready to go. Seeing the new name in full context bolsters confidence and minimize potential dissent.
- Be clear: Announce the name with confidence, and share the story of where the name came from and why it works. Enthusiasm is infectious, and a clear, simple story is priceless.
- Bribe ‘em: Seriously, if budget allows, a branded giveaway is a nice token to help employees connect to the new name. Just remember, no one wants a cheap flashlight or a stress ball. Think along the lines of water bottles or hoodie sweatshirts.
For more tips on naming a company, check out our new FREE naming guide.
Jill Stanewick is Naming Director at Tanj, a boutique naming, language and brand consultancy in NYC. Follow @jill_at_tanj for Jill’s latest thinking and updates.