Changing a company's name is a big decision but one that can reap rewards.

Changing a company's name is a big decision but one that can reap rewards.

Shakespeare asked would a rose by any other name smell as sweet, but we want to know whether a company by any other name attracts more or less business?

Often companies change their name as their offering to
customers expands or changes and they need something which is more reflective of their new role. Alternatively
restaurants and hotels change name when new owners come on board and want to put their own stamp on things or if they want to get rid of all negative connotations and start afresh with a clean slate.

Whatever people's motivation for changing their business's name, it is not a decision to be taken lightly and there are a
number of factors people must consider before making any final decisions.

Choose something which represents the offering

For companies thinking about changing their name the first thing to do is actually pick a new moniker. This can be anything, but the most important thing is that it is representative of what is being offered and what image the brand wants to portray. For example there is no point being called The Old Grey Horse if you want to project an image of an upmarket bistro, however, for a gastro pub the name does what it says on the tin.

Speaking to the Telegraph and Argus recently, one chef, James Downey, highlighted the benefits of ditching an old, ineffective name when he changed the name of his eatery from The Cut to the Waterside Restaurant and Grill. Under its previous guise many people had dismissed the restaurant as they thought it was a hairdressers so hopefully the new name will help boost diner numbers.

The logistics of making the change

Once a new name has been decided on there is a lot of work to do to ensure that the switch is made effectively. Not only do all the marketing materials etc. have to be changed over and all websites redirected, something has to be done to ensure that the new name, and what it represents, sticks firmly in people's minds.

Making announcements in local and trade press can help with this process, as can handing out leaflets or sending messages to regular customers.

Having a party or event to celebrate the name change is not only a good way to get the word out there; it could even help attract new return customers.

Consider potential problems

The key to any name change is to be prepared and consider any potential problems well in advance. If the negatives outweigh the positives or a name change could jeopardise
brand loyalty then it may be worth sticking with the current title.

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