Catchword’s Naming Manual – Part 5 of 10

By Laurel Sutton

November 7, 2008

Here’s another excerpt from our handy dandy naming manual – it’s like a car manual, only about naming! We’ll be posting 10 different sections on a weekly basis, so please come back every Friday for more. If you like what you see, please download a copy of your very own, or write to us and we’ll mail you a paper copy (it has a glossy cover!).


Step 7 – Installing names
Congratulations! You’ve created a new name and you’re ready to put it on your new marketing vehicle. To do so, inflate your
new name with hot air and carefully place it on the brand. At first, you may feel that your new name isn’t “pretty” enough.
It may seem underdressed. This is because you have not yet applied a new brand identity. To do so, see your Manual’s section
on “Optional Hardware”.

If you’re driving a new company name…
Owning and driving a company name can be more complicated than driving a product name. To ensure that you’ve complied with all state and federal laws, and will make a smooth transition from your old name to your new one, we’ve created a checklist of items for you to complete before driving your new company name.

• Submit your trademark registration to the USPTO
• Create a plan and timetable for phasing-in the new name
• Update bank accounts, checks, other financial paperwork
• File a name change with the city/cities and/or counties where you plan to drive your new company name
• Update the name with the Secretary of State’s office
• Register your company domain name
• Register spelling variants and alternative top-level domains (e.g. .net) as needed
• Have your old domain name and any new variants direct traffic to your new site
• Update email addresses to new domain; update email signatures
• Forward old email addresses to new ones
• Check with a tax attorney for any dependencies/issues in filing under your new name
• Determine the best way to announce the name internally – e.g., email from the president, employee gathering, outside party, etc.
• Plan ways to acclimate employees to the new name and rally support
• Create an “early” name announcement for valued partners and contacts
• Create a press release to announce the name to the media and the world
• Update business cards, letterhead, envelopes and other collateral
• Update brochures, pamphlets, other marketing materials
• Contact your closest customers and industry analysts and inform them of the name change (but only after you’ve made the announcement internally!)
• Create a letter to customers explaining how the change is relevant to them, including answers to likely customer questions (e.g., will service contract be affected?)

NAMING TIP
When evaluating names, trust your instincts and don’t ask for a lot of outside opinions (unless, of course, you’re a masochist).


Last week: Distilling Names
Next week: Operation in Foreign Countries

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