Branding & Renaming

Marketing Advice - 20.07.22

Thinking of Rebranding?

What if you want to make a complete change to your brand name and where do you even start?

We’ve done a few here in Together Digital so here are some relevant tips that people rarely think of.

1. Objective Data Inputs

Google Search Console

Analysing website data is a great place to start working out what brand equity you already have. Go into Google Search Console and look at what key terms people are actually using to click through to your site. 

If you see a lot of traffic coming in on search terms based on the services or products that you provide this is a good sign that your website and SEO are working. The searcher's intent is aligned with your offering.

If, however, you are seeing more branded key terms here that includes your company name then your top of funnel traffic may be coming to your website primarily based on knowledge of your brand.

Understanding the relative value of each is a key input in this process.

Website Analytics

Do a deep dive into your analytics account to get a better understanding of your users' behaviour.

  • What is happening when users come to your site? 

  • What pages are they looking at? 

  • Are they going to about pages, product pages? 

  • What geographic locations are they coming from? 

  • Are they coming from Ireland only? 

  • What countries are you trying to target? 

If most of your business is generated from a different country and traffic is coming directly to specific pages where your brand equity is low it will be easier to make the change. If you see a lot of traffic coming from ‘branded’ search in your target geographies then it is wise to strategically offset this with a rebranding campaign.

Google My Business (GMB)

Many people don’t realise the power of this seemingly innocuous tool. This is a search engine within a search engine. Not only does it often have wrong information in there it’s often not even optimised (that’s another blog post) GMB also records data which is particularly powerful if you are a business which depends on local and mobile traffic. 

It also hosts Google Reviews. What people are saying about you online can be a helpful barometer of consumer sentiment towards your brand. 

You can use profile view insights to track how popular your business is with current and potential customers. Only owners and managers of the Business Profile can view profile insights.

Follow this guide on how to extract this data

Google Adwords / Keyword Tools

f you are running Google Adwords, there are also insights to be gleaned from your Adwords data. Again focus on what keywords are generating valuable Click-Through-Rates (CTR’s). 

  • Are they branded terms? 

  • If you have branded ad groups, how are they performing? 

  • What’s your impression share like here? 

  • If you are in multiple geographies, drill down to see what it means for you to change. If you do decide to change, pop your new name into the keyword tool and see what terms and groupings come back. If there are high traffic volumes on related terms, Google them to see who will be potential competitors for you on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

Google Trends

This tool essentially looks at terms that are trending. It’s a little addictive so watch the clock or you’ll spend hours in there. First, select the region top left and put in your existing name. You can see if you’re trending upwards or downwards. 

If you are adopting a new name particular that contains new terms you can check their popularity. Access the Google trend tool here.

2. Know Your Competition

Google yourself

Google your existing company name. Look at what other companies come up. 

Now Google your NEW name and do the same.

You could be surprised at how many companies may have similar names, domains or offerings. Dig deep, are these companies that have big budgets or huge brand equity that will make it nigh impossible for you to rank organically? We once saved a client from choosing a name which was an acronym that was used by millions of Microsoft partners worldwide.

Own your domain

People kind of forget to check what handles are free or available on social media for their new name? You really do not want to be competing with the wrong audience. If your new name is not available in .ie or .com, what are the combinations of words that you could use? 

Look at specialist sector domains outside of Top Level Country Domains i.e There are more new domain name extensions to choose from that perhaps represent your sector or organisation type for example .io for tech .media for publishing

Social media handles

Don’t make the mistake of securing your domain with a later realisation that you can’t secure your social media names or even worse a competitor or a company has a name that is very similar or has content that would harm your business. 

The last thing you need is to be associated with a popular sex-related account (yes this has happened) The other thing I would recommend is to secure handles on social accounts that you don’t even intend on using. Prevention is better than cure and all that. You may not have the resources to manage them now but you could in the future use that account for campaigns or to communicate to a specific audience.

Check your logo for lookalikes!

Yes, you can do this. It might not go as far as Calibra court case but at the very least you can see if you have if there is a brand or a competitor or with a similar name, colour palette, design. 

First port of call, upload your logo into Google. You can find instructions on how to do that here. If you are global, it’s a good idea to check the Trademark database. The last thing you’d need is to start off with a court case or get a cease and desist letter.

3. Gathering Feedback

This is one of the biggest challenges that organisations have the world over. 

The agency has been working with a client on a new brand identity. Everyone has been on the journey together and are happy with the final iteration. 

Then it goes to a board, or leadership team or the wider company or to friends, family, the barista for feedback. 

Be careful. You will get lots of different opinions, and psychologically humans are programmed to focus on the negative. Did you know that there is a science on how to collate feedback? Negative feedback, of course, can be good but it's really about how you gather it. 

  • Be specific with your questions and clarify your objective first. 

  • Does the design meet the brief? 

  • Does it align with the brand/brand guidelines? If not why? 

  • If there is a ‘Design by Committee’ scenario, ask for bullet points or screenshots. If the feedback is ambiguous for example ‘Can you change the font?’ look for actionable constructive insights.

Finally, set the limits on the rounds of feedback to 3 rounds. If a design is pushing into it’s 5th or 6th round, there is a problem that needs to be addressed.