Time for a new name

rebrandThe convention for choosing a business name has changed substantially over recent decades. Once, most businesses were passed down through the generations, with children growing up learning about the family business before ultimately taking over from their parents. Traditionally, these businesses signified their long heritage and family roots through their names – WH Smiths, Woolworths, Fenwicks and Selfridges, for example.

All these businesses have (or in some cases, had) strong brands and were such established names in the High Street that customers know the services they offer before they step through the front door, even though the name itself gives no hint of what they sell. Instead, they rely on their shopfronts, and their long history and presence in the psyche of the British consumer.

But times are changing.

The rise of the internet gives today’s customers far more choice, and businesses have to work much harder to attract new custom. In a crowded marketplace, standing out among the crowd to attract new clients can be challenging.

The first hurdle, of course, is getting people to look at your business offering in the first place. For that, you need the right brand. If you don’t have a traditional shopfront, your business name, logo and website has to be your brand, clearly encapsulating what you do and what you can offer within the first few seconds.

So, how do you know when it’s time to rebrand?

Every business grows organically, with changes in direction and new business offerings developing as time passes and new people come on board. What was a perfect brand a few years ago, may no longer reflect your business’ current focus. If your business model has changed, or you’ve added a significant new strand or service to your business, this should be reflected in your brand.

Does your business name immediately reflect your brand’s vision and the service you offer? If not, it may be time for a whole new company name, but choose one that gives you the flexibility to continue to grow. Be descriptive, but not so narrow that you may be facing another name change a few years down the line.

what do you offer?

Made-up names or esoteric words can be unique options that stand out, but be prepared to invest significant amounts of time and money in advertising to explain what it stands for.

Can you describe your brand in one sentence? Find a creative way to describe what you do, and work your brand’s messaging around that single vision.

If your website or brand seems outdated and increasingly out of step with what you can offer, it’s time to rebrand. Social media has a large part to play, here – as channels such as Instagram grow and visual branding takes on a life of its own, having a recognisable, social media friendly name, logo and brand is increasingly important.

Take us, for example. One year ago we started our business as Forward Enterprise – a play on the surname of our founder, and a reflection of the business’ exciting new beginning and everything that it stood for.

As so often happens, the business took off in unexpected ways, with new people coming on board and bringing with them innovative ideas and new service offerings. One year on, we realised it was time for a rebrand, to better reflect our market offering.

So Edit, etc was born. ‘Edit’ as a reflection of our core service – editorial consultancy and support to the publishing, property and construction sectors – and ‘etc’ (an abbreviation of the Latin word ‘etceteros’, which means “and other things”), to reflect our allied services of web design, publishing and graphic design.

We’re so excited to be launching our new brand, and can’t wait to embrace the incredible new milestone it represents for us as we move into the second year of our business.

And if you’re wondering exactly what our “other things” include, why not check out the rest of our brand new website to find out more?

Welcome to Edit, etc – we can’t wait to meet you and learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.

Posted by Jennie Ward