How to prepare a name change

A name change is always an exciting process. Whether in small businesses, startups, or larger company contexts, how the “baby” is renamed is an emotional issue that somehow concerns everyone in the company. This makes it all the more difficult to decide on the new name — and the subsequent introduction and acceptance. In the following 3-part series, you will find suggestions as to what you can do to get all decision-makers and employees on board.

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Part 1: Renaming - Preparation

When a company or brand name needs to be changed, there are complications or problems to consider. Because no one changes a well working name for no reason. Often, the problem is due to legal problems in connection with the original name, or the name no longer fits the new strategy (see blog post: Business and brand name changes ).

No matter whether you search for a new name on your own or commission a name agency: At the end of the idea process, there often is not the one name you immediately know, “that's it!”  At least this does not happen to all decision-makers at the same time. More often, you have several suggestions—and opinions—on the table, all of which must be weighed and considered.

So, how do you go about avoiding endless discussions (and maybe even arguing within the decision-making circle) and find the best name? To prepare for a name discussion/decision, you should urgently clarify the following question:


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Why do we need a new name?

Is it truly clear to all involved that the name needs to be changed? Or does the old name appear again and again as an alternative? Working titles can also be idealized in the course of product development or the company's founding, and can be difficult to get rid of. Clearly explain, at the beginning of a discussion of names, why the current name is no more; for example:

  • Trademark protection is not possible -> the competition can also use the term
  • The founder leaves the company
  • The current name is not meaningful enough or does not fit the strategy, etc.

With this measure, you bring everlasting doubters and vehement supporters of the previous name on board, and prevent the old name or working title from mutating into a “revenant.” What is important are clear facts that no longer allow any nostalgic “hanging onto the old name.”

A new name has to come!

When this message is securely anchored in the minds of the participants and the old name is successfully banished from the mind, the "name change" mission can continue into the next phase.

-> Read next week in Part 2: How to lead a name discussion

Looking for creative name ideas?

With your NameRobot company name generator you can find the desired name for your business.

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