What's in a name?

Taking the decision to rebrand can be really tough, there’s a lot to think about and the amount of work involved can be daunting, not to mention the fear of losing the reputation you’ve built up under your original name. So why do it?

We have helped many clients through a successful rebrand, yet the idea of doing it for ourselves was scary. Rebranding was something that we had been thinking about doing for a year or so, as the company we originally set up had completely outgrown our name. Eight years ago we set up GD PR & Media Ltd, which was a mix of our (the Directors) names and obviously incorporated the fact that we were a PR agency. Fast forward eight years and whilst we’re still a PR agency, we have evolved into a video production company, digital marketing agency and graphic design studio. This all happened organically as we listened to the needs of our clients and responded accordingly.  

As our range of skills grew, it became frustrating that, because of our name, people assumed we were purely a PR agency, so we knew we had to do something. We had been toying with the idea of a change when the news of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) hit the headlines, which pretty much made the decision for us. The more calls we had about GDPR, the more our appetite for change grew!

The first step was to come up with a completely new name and the pressure is massive when you’re doing this, but we stuck to our own advice when seeking inspiration…

·      What are your company values?

·      What do you love?

·      Does your company suit an acronym?

·      Gain inspiration from history or mythology

·      Inspiration from a favourite book or film.

·      Translated word(s) from another language.

We searched through Greek mythology, came up with several (rubbish!) acronyms and attempted to extract sayings from favourite films that could possibly be turned into a company name… all to no avail.  So we took it right back to basics and figured out who we are and what we do at the very core of our business… and then it all fell into place.  At the heart of everything we do is a story and it’s our job to tell that story of behalf of our clients and to spread the word far and wide.

With several links to France, we tapped storyteller into google translate and discovered the French word is Conteur.  We instantly loved it, but decided to let it settle and explore other options at the same time. From that point, we found ourselves comparing everything else to that name and we knew for sure that it was the perfect fit for us.

We then tasked one of our in-house designers with the unenviable task of coming up with our logo… as you can see from the initial designs, it was a long process and we went backwards and forwards for about 3 weeks until we perfected every aspect and were happy with the finished product.

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Final version logo

Final version logo

We have always loved things that have depth and more than one meaning, so in case you haven’t noticed, the C in Conteur is made up of an apostrophe and also a bit of paper made to look like it’s floating down to the ground.

Coming up with the new name and branding was the just the beginning… the entire website needed to be updated to reflect not only our new name but also the emphasis on the services we offer. In all honestly, we’re still working on it and continue to change little bits six months on.

As I said, taking the leap to rebrand can be scary and daunting, but when you know it’s the right time and if you’re passionate about what you do, it can add a fantastic new energy to everything you do. 

We still need to refresh the office in the new colours and we’re still finalising design of things like business cards but so far, clients (past and present), suppliers and acquaintances have unanimously agreed that it was the right decision. 

An added bonus has been that we’ve had a great excuse to get in touch with clients – old, new and all the potential clients in our pipeline.  As a result, we’ve reconnected and won several pieces of work.

So, having done it for our clients and now walked the walk ourselves, here are our top tips for a successful rebrand:

1.     Are you sure that it’s a good idea to rebrand?  We thought long and hard before we took the leap and even then it was terrifying.  Forbes also make a really interesting point: ‘Before you decide if a rebrand makes sense, recognize that many people will be working on rebranding tasks when they could be doing other things - for months and months.’ Basically, it’s not a decision that you should take lightly simply because you don’t like your company name anymore.

2.     Make sure you plan everything. When that rebrand train starts moving, you need to make sure you can keep up! You need to juggle a new name with a new logo, new colours, change of website, social media, tone of voice etc, etc, etc. You need to come up with the tone of voice you’re looking to achieve and stick to it rigorously.  Here is a tick list of things you need to remember to update:

-       Your website (including previous blog entries referencing your old name)

-       Your social media pages and profiles:

-       LinkedIn

-       Facebook

-       Twitter

-       Any other social media platforms you’re on

-       Your email signature

-       Your business cards

-       Your letterhead

-       Printed literature

-       Online directories

-       Online advertisements

-       Signage

3.     Communication internally.  Firstly, make sure that your team is on board.  They need to know what’s going on at every step of the way.  We ran everything past our team and they were in complete agreement of the new name, logo, colours etc.  They are on the front line of what we do and it was really important that they were able to relay to/answer any questions that our clients might ask.

4.     Communication externally.  When you have worked through the mountain of work that comes with a rebrand, it’s time to shout about it!  Get your story right about why you’ve rebranded and get press releases out to your target publications.  We also found our local Chamber of Commerce was a really good support for helping to spread the word to other businesses locally.  Obviously, you’ll need to have a good social media plan.  We ‘teased’ our followers for a couple of weeks before hand with hints of our new logo etc.

If you’re thinking of a rename / rebrand, best of luck and if you want to talk it through with someone, get in touch and we’ll guide you through it!

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