January 9, 2009
Rebranding Can Pay Off - But an Ounce of Prevention Is Still Worth a Pound of Cure.
MSNBC just published an article entitled "How to Play the Rebranding Game." In it, they tell the story of the voice-to-text technology company formerly known as SimulScribe.
Although the name "SimulScribe" accurately described what the service did, customers didn't like it. The new name, PhoneTag, has generated a lot more interest.
The rebranded service gets 40% more new users and three times as many referrals as it garnered under the old name. This is a great case study for the power of naming, because the only thing that changed was the name, not the product itself.
The MSNBC article focuses on how to make company name changes successfully (a subject dear to our hearts), but overlooks the fact that this particular problem could have been avoided by doing more research on the viability of the name "SimulScribe" before launching the company.
Before betting the farm on a name, make sure it passes the typing test. "SimulScribe" proved to be a typo-prone name, one of the reasons customers and investors objected to it.
Even if the name is easy to type and the dot-com domain is available, it's important to survey your target market before you launch your new product or service.
Research costs money, but not as much as having to start over.
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