What’s In A Company Name?

When it comes to marketing and branding a firm, there are many ways a branding and design agency can help you make radical and effective changes, but one that may often be overlooked is the name.

Many companies see their name as the most obvious element of their identity. A few companies, like Hoover or JCB, have become synonymous with the kinds of products they produce. For them, changing their name would be an extremely counterproductive measure.

Other firms, such as Ferrari, Coca-Cola and Nike, have extremely powerful brand names that highlight their positions of strength in their respective markets.

However, there are many others who have changed, and it is worth consulting with branding experts on how such a move might help your firm.

The reasons for doing so may vary. For example, the Uncle Ben’s rice brand changed to Ben’s Original in 2020 and removed the picture of a smiling black man from its logo, amid claims the old name perpetuated racial stereotypes.

Another reason for changing may be that a firm has multiple concerns or operates in different countries under various names, and finds it works better to consolidate them all under one name. This was the rationale for the 2008 decision by Norwich Union, one of Britain’s biggest insurance firms, to take on the name Aviva.

These may not be the only reasons for changing a company name. You may find, for example, that your name is too similar to that of another company, presenting a potential risk of misidentification. Or it could be that your firm wants a new name to reflect a change of ownership or a significant shift in the kinds of goods and services it offers.

Whatever the reason, it can be worthwhile to consider whether a name change might help your firm, in order to give it a clearer identity, increase relevance or remove any problematic associations. In doing so, you could help make the task of developing your brand much easier.