August 31, 2006
Company Naming: A Chorus of Admiration
I was interested to read about the corporate name change undergone by MDSERVE, Inc. which was announced earlier this week.
From here on in, the company name will be Chorus with the tagline “Working Together”. I note this name change for numerous reasons, not least because the new name is far more resonant than the old, virtually meaningless one, and also because it is the result of a merger.
Mergers and acquisitions are the most frequest reasons companies change their names, responsible for 33% of the company name changes in 2006. In this case, a private company (MDSERVE) was bought by Practice Management Ventures, LLC ("PMV") and simultaneously formed a link with the National Association of Community Health Centers ("NACHC"), making it the very first software development firm to be owned by community health centers.
This means a totally new direction for MDSERVE and the name change nicely reflects that direction.
It seems to me that companies and their customers should always be “working together”, and yet so often - especially in the medical and pharmaceutical industry - there is the perception among consumers that this is not the case.
The name MDSERVE, from a brand strategy perspective, puts the focus on the service the company could provide for doctors. Chorus is a much friendlier, holistic company name that includes the patients those doctors depend upon, and incorporates the expanded scope of the company.
Healthcare in the United States is constantly getting knocked for being too greedy, too corporate, and too impersonal, as evidenced within the blogoshpere and at least one new book entitled “Money Driven Medicine”.
It seems to me that one way in which healthcare brands can change their image is to focus on “working together” with patients. I hope that company name changes like this reflect a shift in the healthcare business toward a more friendly, cooperative dynamic between doctor and patient.
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