Optimize My Brand

Strategy, tactics, ideas and tips from Creative Company.

A new name for fresh optimization

Brand optimization and online optimization can go hand-in-hand

Developing a new name for a company can often be a catalyst for growth. It can provide the vehicle to make a statement about the organization, moving forward into the future and reaching a new level of capabilities.

When we’ve renamed organizations, the results have often gone beyond what was planned for. A new name and identity can revitalize a team and generate enthusiasm amongst staff. It can shake up the market and  shift perceptions. It can also demonstrate what the organization is committed to and what customers and clients can expect.

In a recent post on Marketing Profs cited below, another consideration for the new name is pointed out. Optimizing for search engines.

Before You Name Your Company, Consider How Google Will Rank It

Published on February 20, 2012

“It doesn’t matter whether your brand is online or not, “[I]t will be googled, ” says Ann Smarty in an article at MarketingProfs.”So, before you choose your brand name, you should understand … three major facts about how Google rates and ranks personal and business names,” she advises.

Here are the big three:

Some search results are ‘obvious.’ Google interprets queries in one of three ways: dominant, common, and minor interpretations. Type “Apple” into the search box and you’ll quickly learn about dominant interpretations. Most people want information about the computer company, and your “Apple Vacations” agency stands zero chance of getting onto the first page of results. “You don’t want to start a business to later find out there’s no way to rank in the top 10 results for your own business name,” Smarty notes.

‘Generally known’ does not mean ‘obvious’ (or ‘dominant’). If we were playing word association and you said “Armstrong,” we would probably say “Lance” or “Neil.” But Google tends to favor brands, and gives most of the first page to the less obvious flooring company. “When no dominant interpretation exists for a keyword,” Smarty explains, “getting ranked in most SERPs is easier than you might think. All you need is to build a strong brand name.”

A co-joined name and brand name can become ‘dominant.’ While no single entity dominates a search on “Dave Jones,” it’s entirely possible to own the SERP for “Dave Jones Codemonkey.”

Are you thinking about a new name for your organization?

It’s an exciting process with much to consider. The best new names are those that reflect the benefits or outcomes the organizations create, or the culture and persona of the organization.

Job Growers logoWe renamed the Enterprise for Employment and Education, a public/private partnership managing workforce investment funds for Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties in Oregon to Job Growers, Inc. Because that was the reason behind all of the programs offered — from skills training to industry consortia to job market research and reports.

Western Oregon Waste logoAnd when City Sanitary, KE Enterprises and Sunset Refuse and Recycling needed to combine under a new name, the owner came up with Western Oregon Waste, because he wanted to be WOW. We created the big splashy brand that unified the workforce and became a source of pride.

Foodguys logoCascade Fruit and Nut was a food ingredient broker that wanted to move into other categories of products and grow quickly. Not only was “Cascade” confused with other companies in the Willamette Valley using the same word, but “Fruit and Nut” was limiting. We renamed the group to foodguys. They’ve been adding food guys and gals ever since. The name fits the persona of the organization, is easy to say and remember, very helpful when most business is done on the phone.

When is it time to consider a new name?

  • Is your name hard to say or remember?
  • Has the organization changed to expand products and services or reach new markets, so the name is limiting?
  • Has there been a merger that has created a need for a common name amongst multiple entities?
  • Does the name sound too much like others in your area or your industry?
  • Does the current name sound “old-fashioned” when the company is progressive and forward thinking?

These are all good reasons to make a fresh start with a new story you can tell around a name that is memorable and meaningful. The name should fit your position in the market and give you a foundation from which to grow. We offer a few worksheets to help you determine your position and start the naming process.

Of course if you would like to discuss a rename to optimize your brand and your online presence, let’s talk. Give us a call toll-free at 866.363.4433.

P.S. In August of 2012 we were awarded a Silver from the Summit International Awards for the name and identity we created for Job Growers Incorporated.

About the author

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Jennifer's four decades of work in the industry, starting as a designer and adding marketing, copywriting and digital marketing, has generated response for clients since 1978.

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