Have any of you guys ever changed your store name, we are thinking about doing it and i was wondering what kind of problems you ran into if any, and how the customers will respond. We will keep the recipes the same, maybe change some of the pizza names. Thanks
Wow – Changing a name is a very big step.
Your name is your brand. Here is the definition of a brand from Wikipedia:
In marketing, a brand is the symbolic embodiment of all the information connected with a product or service. A brand typically includes a name, logo, and other visual elements such as images or symbols. It also encompasses the set of expectations associated with a product or service which typically arise in the minds of people. Such people include employees of the brand owner, people involved with distribution, sale or supply of the product or service, and ultimate consumers.
The only good reason to change your name is if the existing name has a poor brand identity. Changing the name is a way to wash the bad identity away. If you change the name for this purpose make sure you change as many other brand-related things as possible like the sign, logo, colors, uniforms, advertising and decor.
Being forced to change your name is another story entirely. Things like a name that is too close to another trademarked name or rebranding the store to leave a franchise organization may force you to rename a store.
You can minimize the damage to an existing satisfied customer base if you have a mailing list and use it to tell them about the name change.
When we took over our store last December we decided we would change the name once we were settled in.
The store had a good name for the quality of the pizzas but not the quality of the operator or some of the staff.
Step one was to get rid of the staff we didn’t think fitted our future plans. We also introduced specific order takers on the front counter (young females) and put new work practices into place.
Step two was to repaint the shop and put in new furniture and counter, change the asthetics of the overall shop and make it as funky and “renewed” as possible.
Once this was all in place we went for the “re-branding”. This included new signage, uniforms with logos of the new name on the front and a big PIZZAZZ (our brand name) across the backs of the shirts. New menus were made up and distributed by letterbox drop to all our delivery areas with the new name with “previously the old name” printed slightly smaller under it.
This whole process has taken 6 - 8 months to complete (mainly held up by the shopping centre management where we are who opposed our signage).
Still with all this we get the odd person saying is this (the old name) after we answer the phone with the new identity.
Why did we change from a good trading name store to our own? We wanted our own identity which removed all ties with the previous owner and some of his and staff quetionable behaviours; to have a trading name that could be generic to opening other outlets in different suburbs; a brand that looked to the future and not tied to a single locality; a brand name that has a connotation of quality, excitement and flair (we are not a cheap price outlet) and finally creating an awareness by the name change.
It has been a long and sometimes trying process, especially developing the logo and branding concept but it has worked.
It is not easy and not for the feint hearted but if you feel you want to change have a clear objective in mind and stick with the plan you have mapped out.
We have maintained our sales despite the massive fuel price increases and mortgage rates increases which have affected consumer spending and are now starting to see sales increase.
Walk in customers comment on the new funky decor and improvements made to the shop and tell us constantly how good the pizzas are now compared to previously, often saying " we didn’t think you could get any better than how they were" (even though we haven’t changed the menu much).
If you have a clear reason to change the name and an objective to aim for then go for it but ensure you are cahnging it for a tangible reason and not just for the sake of it.
WOW, thank you guys very much.