Protecting Your Brand, And Determining When Rebranding Makes Sense

What's in a name?

For an information technology company today, its name – or its brand -- has to communicate something that resonates with potential customers without alienating loyal customers. The name should also reflect what your company advocates as part of its mission.

Businesses in every industry place brand management as a cornerstone of their marketing strategies, through such vehicles as advertising, content marketing and social media.
And sometimes, changing the brand may be necessary.

For example, earlier this year, the MSP formerly known as Synergy Development Consulting, based in Miramar, Fla., rebranded as Forthright Technology Partners in part to emphasize what its chief marketing executive calls a key drawing card: its honesty.

Other companies have rebranded to reflect key acquisitions. For instance, Dell is now Dell Technologies after its $65 billion purchase of EMC.

One other notable rebranding was that of solution provider PC Connection, which just this week simply shortened its name to Connection, reflecting the fact that today's IT industry is more than just personal computers.

The tightening of the name was partly a look to the future, but also a nod "to the success of our past," CEO Tim McGrath told IT Best Of Breed about his 34-year-old company.

With all the technology in the marketplace, he added, Connection aims to make it all work together for a business. "We like to say that we filter out the noise so you can hear the pure music," McGrath said.

The name change helps Connection "re-engage" customers to address the range of its practice areas "to really reinforce to them all of the capabilities that we have as a company."

And talking with customers before pulling the trigger on a rebranding initiative appears to be a good idea. McGrath did just that.

"It's really important to listen to your customers," he said. "Our customers have been saying for some time that our capabilities are so much deeper and wider than just the PC, they just question why [the name is] PC Connection."

What does he suggest for a solution provider that's weighing a similar change? Give it a lot of thought.

"Measure twice and cut once," McGrath said. "It's an important decision. … Before you make that transition, you have to spend a lot of time looking at all aspects."

Here are links to recent articles on how preserving and enhancing your company's brand, and how you should proceed with a rebranding effort.

ITBESTOFBREED: 5 tips when you're thinking about rebranding

MARKETING PROFS: Want to build a strong brand? Get messaging right

SMART INSIGHTS: 3 SEO and branding mistakes your small business might be making

HUBSPOT: The stories behind 6 major brand makeovers – from Buick to Bud Light