After years of operating under a particular company name, many remodelers find themselves at a crossroads. Perhaps the name no longer has the same ring it did a few decades ago, or the company has taken a new direction.
Out with the old: RemodelWest and SilverMark created new monikers to better showcase their companies' services.
Bill Reid, owner of Cupertino Kitchen Design in Cupertino, Calif., faced this dilemma last year. Once known mainly for kitchen remodels, over the years the company's work had expanded to include more than just kitchen upgrades. “It got to the point where, after being in business for 15 years,” Reid says, “I was still walking into people's homes and explaining the services we provide.”
Reid tried to overcome the name's boundaries through advertising and marketing, but “the name of the business was so limiting that I finally made the decision to rebrand our business,” he says.REBRANDING STEPS
First was the company's name. “We have a good reputation, so I was very nervous about changing the name,” Reid admits. “It was the biggest decision I ever made being in business. I didn't want people to be confused and think we went out of business or were bought by another business.”
To keep head-scratching to a minimum, Reid downplayed Cupertino Kitchen Design and added a new name, RemodelWest to the company's moniker. “We didn't want to lose sight of who we really are and we didn't want our customers to think we went away,” he says. “The idea is to grow into that name.”MAGIC BULLET
Terry Streich found himself in a similar situation earlier this year. After 31 years operating under the name Silver Bullet Inc. Design/Build, coined from the Lone Ranger's choice of silver bullets, the company president began to wonder if the name still accurately reflected the company. Silver Bullet had a solid reputation in its Minneapolis market, with 65% of its business from referral and repeats. And that was a problem. The company wasn't attracting new customers at a pace acceptable to Streich. Like Reid, Streich had attempted various marketing strategies to attract new customers, with little success.
After taking a long look at the company's marketing and sales, and conferring with a consultant, Streich determined that the company's name needed updating. “We'd heard the reaction to our name for 31 years,” he says. “We knew it was not a normal name, and it always elicited a comment, a question, or a conversation.”
SilverMark Inc. Design & Build was chosen — from a list of potential names that numbered more than 100, all containing the word “silver.” “We wanted to have a connection to the old name,” Streich says.
Both companies heavily promoted their name changes to current and past customers and vendors through e-mail, postcards, and newsletters. “We've done everything we can think of to help people find us,” Streich says.