Anyone who has been involved in building a business knows the process required to name it – to build your brand. In a way, it’s like naming a new baby. It’s exciting. It is filled with expectation and anticipation.
Now consider renaming a 6 year old business. As a process, it’s like changing your 6 year old daughter’s name. It is neither simple nor easy. Imagine your sweet little girl turning into a headache-causing obstructionist, still screaming, “Why does this even have to happen?” “
You should not change the name of a 6 year old. But you can change your business name, especially if there are compelling, market-based reasons. And that was the case for the company that I founded and that I still manage. My baby, so to speak, was born in 2013 as GameEffective, a reflection of our focus at the time. Six years later, things have changed, especially our value proposition.
This is a very condensed version of the journey I just took to create a new brand with a new brand promise. Perhaps the lessons learned along the way are of value, if you envision a similar business transformation.
Let me start with a realization that comes to you quickly and harshly. It is not a process for the faint of heart. To successfully reach the end of a trip like mine, expect more than a few emotional roller coasters and a lot of intellectual gymnastics. Plus, expect everyone you know to suddenly be a branding expert with plenty of advice to share. While a lot of things are well-intentioned, most have limited utility, let alone their applicability to your specific situation. Listen to them, though, because you never know when that gem of an idea will fall into your lap.
I must also stress that this cannot be a vanity project. It should concern your employees, your partners, your investors and, without a doubt, your customers. They are the ones who have brought you to where you are.
While working on more complex challenges, I saw the need to add more functionality to our platform. And, as our platform and the programs we worked on evolved, the need for a new brand name that better represents what we had become became evident. The decision to create a new brand was driven by the business need to make all stakeholders understand that our platform could perfectly serve a larger purpose within their organizations.
Specifically, we have found that when companies engage, train and manage employee performance comprehensively in real time, they see significant and measurable business success. The rebranding was about finding a way to get companies to see their employees as critical to the success of the business. It wasn’t about us. In view of all this, we have decided to rename our company Centrical to better represent the companies we serve. If you are considering a new branding, take a look at your business goals and find a way to reflect them in that final name.
When we first launched our new brand, the first people we spoke to were our employees. If you are in a similar rebranding situation, you should follow suit. After all, they are at the center of the success of your business. In addition, it is necessary to equip them as well as possible to convey your new brand message to customers, prospects and potential collaborators.
Once we unveiled our new brand, the learning curve was not steep. Our employees have been involved in the process throughout – to help us assess names and potential approaches. We have done the same with selected clients and investors, which I would recommend all organizations to do in such a situation. Yes, this caused some reviews and some delays. But, when we launched our brand, we got a quick and united support. With these lessons in mind, I’m sure you’ll see the same.