This summer, our team made the decision to change our company name from Suite 4 Social to just Suite 4. You may have noticed this change in our branding and online presence. But we figured we’d explain a little about the thought process behind this update. Changing our business name was mainly for clarity. Let me explain what I mean by this and give you a few things to think about when it comes to naming or renaming your small business.
The End of Social (or rather just “Suite 4 Social”)
We were originally Suite 4 Social because at that time, marketing was a very broad term and social media was a new way of integrating marketing practices for businesses. We wanted to distinguish ourselves as a company that specializes in those services. We know what we’re doing when it comes to social media marketing and our clients got that impression right away.
However, today, social media has become a norm. Most businesses know that being present on social media platforms is important for their brand’s marketing. Now, when small business owners recognize they need to invest in their marketing, they expect social media management to be included in that. It’s great that they recognize social media is a part of marketing but our name, “Suite 4 Social” was too specific. The “Social” part of our name became more misleading than helpful. It made it sound like social media was our only focus when it comes to our marketing approach. In reality, social media management is just one piece in the whole marketing pie. We want our clients and potential clients to see we can offer them the whole pie, not just a piece of it. (If you’re curious about the other pieces of the marketing pie we offer? Check out our services!)
What’s in a name?
So for us, a name change was in order for our business to accurately express the work we do. It’s a small change simply to reflect the direction of our company. Other reasons for changing your name could be a new ownership, negative associations with your old name, or just to keep up with the times. Whatever your reasons are for renaming, make sure to go through the proper steps in the planning and execution process. But the main part of this change is making sure you’ve chosen the right name for your business.
- When choosing your name make sure to brainstorm descriptors of your company, associations your business may have, and variations of names and initials that might be appropriate. For us, Suite 4 simply came from the office number that we occupy.
- Next, you need to narrow down the options you have by considering what type of business you have, what exactly you need to convey through your name, and who you’re targeting. Also, think about the sound of the name to verify it flows well.
- Then, check for duplicates by searching online first and double checking with registered trademarks. Duplicating a name will sometimes fly when your business is completely different from the one with the same name for example, “Lotus,” is the name of a British car company as well as a US software company (now owned by IBM). However, there won’t be much confusion between a spreadsheet and a sports car, so the two can coexist. Or names with common words that cannot be trademarked often work for multiple companies like “Fresh & Clean.” This is the name of a Michigan dry cleaner, a New Mexico portable restroom manufacturer, and several carpet cleaning firms but since this name uses common words they cannot be owned by any one company.
- Remember to also test the name with family and friends or make an online survey to get honest feedback on what people think of it.
- Finally, decide what name will be best for your company.
If you’re seriously considering renaming your business, I hope you’ve found a starting place for your process now. If you want to read more about Suite 4’s rebranding process, check out the idea behind our logo update.