Impact Labs Australia Logo
Free Rebranding Handbook

Is your reputation tied up in your company name?

Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

There are numerous high-profile examples of companies who rebranded in an attempt to cover up a bad incident or reputation (here and here).

Call me overly simplistic, but I've always believed that owning up to mistakes was better than hoping no-one noticed - and while the cases in the articles above are complex, I still think that applies here.

If the aim of a name change or rebrand is simply to help people forget the past, without making any changes to avoid the errors of the past, to me that’s not clever marketing... it’s just manipulation.

If you can't own your previous brand, as in "We used to be This Inc. but now we're That Inc.", it makes me wonder why, and what your covering up.

Quick example

Aussie company Upparel fully owns their previous company name Manrags, and talk about it often on their podcast. There was no incident or reputation hit, but they believed that producing products overseas (socks and underwear) was a wasteful contribution to an overstocked planet, so instead shifted into collecting and recycling textiles to divert them away from landfill, and now create products in-house from those recycled garments under a fully circular model. Their shift from product store to circular organisation culminated in their name change.

In other words, the name wasn’t a superficial attempt to cover up something they weren’t proud of - their renewed values and goals lead them to the new name. They fundamentally changed something about their business, rather than just slapping a new label on it.

Where to from here?

If you're considering a rebrand because of bad PR or your reputation has been harmed in some way, I'd hit pause on that for a minute - have you addressed the actual problem? Can you own it and flip into a positive? Is there a cultural change that needs to happen?

Admit mistakes and take real measures to fix them, which gives loyalty a chance to go up. Then your rebrand (if it still happens) can be guided by your organisation’s learnings and rebirth, rather than being a cover-up.

We send sustainability and rebranding insights like this every day.

Jargon free, designed specifically for Aussie organisations.

Feel free to sign up »

    We'll never sell your data, unsubscribe anytime.

    We acknowledge that we work on the lands of the Wangal peoples of the wider Eora nation in the place now known as Sydney. We are humbled to work on Wangal lands, used for generations as a place for Aboriginal learning and knowledge exchange.

    We respect the Elders of the past, our current Elders and the Elders we are building for our future. May we all continue to look after Wangal, Eora and surrounding lands.
    Impact Labs Australia Logo
    Resources and tools for efficient rebranding in line with your sustainability goals.
    Sign Up
    Get exclusive rebranding insights that we only share with email subscribers.
      © 2022 Impact Labs Australia.
      crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram