In our previous post, we counted down the 10 essential steps to trade name changes. When the time comes to launch, you may decide to outsource the work or partner with your agency, or you may plan and execute your trade name change entirely in house. Either way, it all starts with an inventory of corporate assets that carry your corporate identity. To help, we’ve included a checklist below.
This checklist is not exhaustive, but it’s a great starting point. We recommend meeting with key representatives from each department to customize the plan for your company. From there, you can assign tasks and deadlines for a timely and thorough roll-out.
Update your website and sites that link to you:
- Get the domain for the new name and, when ready, redirect the old domain to the new site URL.
- Change the name and logo wherever they appear on your website.
- Update SEO/keywords if applicable.
- Revise metadata on web pages as needed, including page titles, page descriptions and image alt-tags. Leave a “trail” in the meta-tag description and keyword of the old name.
- Update your listings in applicable online directories.
- Send updated logo and company name/descriptions to any partner or affiliated vendors that mention your company and/or link to your website from their own.
- Write a press release and post it on your website explaining why your company name has changed.
Update your social media sites, which may require new pages built from scratch:
- Different rules and procedures apply depending on the social site, so study up on each to get a better understanding of what’s involved. For example, Facebook will only let you change the name of your page if it has fewer than 200 likes – and even then, changing the page name does not change the page URL.
- In many cases, it will be necessary to start a whole new page and encourage existing fans to “follow” you on your new pages instead.
- Wherever you are currently linking to social pages that will become outdated once you’ve built new pages, be sure to update your links. These URLs are most commonly embedded in social icons on the company website and/or email templates.
Facilitate the trade name change across your operations:
- Finance: invoices, statements, checks, credit applications, change of address forms, banking information, contracts, employer identification number and other IRS records.
- Human Resources: company policy statements, employee handbooks, internal forms, applications, training materials, payroll, etc.
- IT: company intranet, related web domains, vendor notices.
- Legal: incorporation articles, business registration and trademarks, board of directors’ materials, memberships.
- Customer Service: service scripts, forms, contracts, return authorizations.
Update all business systems:
- Name badges
- Business cards, email signatures and addresses
- Letterhead, envelopes, labels, folders, coversheets
- Telephone greetings and messages, including:
- Outgoing voicemail greetings
- Standardized greeting when answering live calls
- Company “on-hold” messaging
- Answering service/after-hours call center greeting
- Outgoing caller ID
- Internal documents (forms, applications, etc.)
Last but certainly not least, update all affected marketing materials:
- PowerPoint templates and existing presentations that are still in use
- Word templates
- Brochures, flyers, patient education materials, other print
- Trade show booth
- Poster presentations
- Case studies, white papers, customer testimonials, etc.
- TV and radio spots if applicable
- Digital banner ads if applicable
- Newsletter/e-newsletter templates
- Videos and product demos
- Customer-facing training materials
- Promotional items (pens, notepads, etc.)
- Web content
- Leadership biographies
- PR boilerplate copy
Have you ever been involved in a corporate name change? If so, what additional insight can you share? We’d love to hear from you!