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Rebranding: New name, new challenges

Name changes are a fine art. Those who rename themselves need a clear focus and a long breath.
The best sounding brands have a long tradition. Rolex, Apple, Coca-Cola and so on are established names that have had a strong appeal to customers for years. Nobody would think of renaming these brands. And yet there are situations that encourage companies to give themselves a new name: Mergers, spin-offs or a new strategic orientation are usually the reasons.  
The most recent example from Switzerland is the former publishing house Tamedia, which will be called TX Group from 2020. For the publisher of the once proud "Tages-Anzeiger", the publishing business is no longer the most important source of income. Thanks to digital platforms such as ricardo, homegate, tutti and, the cash register is ringing. The new claim "Uniting platforms" reflects the transformation to a "Technology Exchange", which TX stands for.
In the asset management industry there are also more frequent name changes - often due to industry consolidation. Most recently, the South African company Investec separated its asset management business from the group under the name "Ninety One". Ninety One will one day be listed on the stock exchange. However, the tour de force is still to come - a new appearance will require considerable effort. In some cases, it will take years before the new brand is anchored in the consciousness of all stakeholders.
Communicators has already assisted several clients with the rebranding. Some important insights have been gained from this: First, it is crucial for Communicators to have the full support of the marketing department. Without an adequate advertising campaign, it is hardly possible to draw attention to the new name. Secondly, the creation of print brochures, give-aways and their distribution to key contacts can provide valuable services to anchor the new brand. Thirdly, the name change should be mentioned in the email signature of all employees - for at least 6, better 12 months. And fourthly, it is essential to seek personal contact with selected media representatives.
Even if all these measures are implemented, the establishment of a new brand is not a foregone conclusion. Changing a well-established brand must be well-considered and should never be taken lightly. When choosing a name, the following applies: the simpler, the better. Cryptic abbreviations and additions confuse and complicate the identification of the contact groups with the new appearance.
Published on 09. December 2019 by Peter Manhart