In some ways, a company name is just like a person’s name: associated with particular characteristics and behaviors.. However, sometimes, the given name gets in the way of growth.
Let’s look at two examples: A tough guy and a cool guy. The tough guy disassociates with his given name, Lawrence Tureaud, because it hardly seems “tough” at all. The cool guy actually has a pretty cool name, Gordon Sumner, but wants to go the extra distance. So they rename themselves Mr. T and Sting, and voila—a successful rebranding launches their careers to their respective destinies. Companies often face the same quandary, and in some cases, they even confront multiple circumstances that warrant a name change.
There are three reasons that companies seek a change in identity:
- The good: When the current name does not capture how much the company has grown in customers’ minds.
- The bad: When associations with the current name are irrelevant or non-existent to customers.
- The ugly: When associations with the current name have turned so bad that recovery is unlikely without a new identity.
Let’s take them one at a time.
An innovative company called YouSENDit launched in 2004 with a focus on helping users send files that were too large for email. It was highly successful, boasting a customer base of more than 43 million users.
However, along the way, its services grew to embrace customers’ data storage and sharing needs beyond merely “sending” large files. The company became a vital resource to the growing “gig” economy by serving as an online platform where virtual teams of creative professionals could design, store and exchange files in real time....
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