I can talk to you all day about the strategy of rebranding, but let’s discuss the emotional impact and why there’s often resistance to it.

When a business rebrands and creates a new name for itself, it is cutting ties with the old name, its reputation, and its way of doing things. This change can evoke many emotions, even for a sole proprietorship. There’s a sense of grief in losing the old name and everything associated with it.

In a multi-generational business, especially one that’s family-run, the name change can feel like a sign of uselessness for the older generations. No one likes feeling useless or ineffective, which is one of the underlying reasons for the resistance. When you add interpersonal and family dynamics, you could have not just a resistant person but a powder keg that could blow even bigger cracks in the family.

Additionally, there’s the fear of losing loyal customers, which terrifies a more established business due to the potential loss of referrals and momentum. There’s also the added cost of replacing items that feature the former name, making it feel like starting over. The fears associated with starting over can trigger significant emotions and resistance as well.

Rebranding has many positives, especially if the former owners had a bad reputation or the name was causing stagnation. However, I know that rebranding with a name change isn’t for everyone. Sometimes what’s needed isn’t a full break with the name or reputation but a small change, such as adding or dropping a word from the name. This can sometimes break through the resistance. It causes less damage, but it has to be a logical and strategic choice for the business.

Remember one thing: stagnation and rigidity can kill a business. Sometimes change, while very scary, is the only way to stay afloat.

Whatever you do, when it comes to a rebrand with a full or partial name change, handle the situation with care and lots of open communication.

Alright, that’s all I got this week! Talk to you soon!