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Naming

Brand Name Change Considerations

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Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. To that end we’re happy to answer your marketing questions. Today we hear from Peter, a partner in a law firm in the Republic of Singapore who writes…

“Another law firm wishes to merge with our law firm but they want our Brand Name to include their Brand Name. What are the disadvantages?”

Thanks for your question Peter. When considering what name to use post-merger, the key question is, “What name will be most advantageous for us?” First, shorter is better because it is easier to remember. If the name is long,  people will likely shorten it in the most intuitive way. So, if the firm’s name contains essentially a list of the managing partners’ last names, as law firm names often do, people will likely shorten it to the first one or two names. Related to this, names that are easier to pronounce are preferable to ones that are more difficult to pronounce. If you are including a number of partners’ names in the firm’s name, you might consider starting with the easier to pronounce names and ending with the more difficult to pronounce ones.

As another consideration, people knowledgeable about one or the other of the two merging firms may recognize the partners’ names in a particular order. Changing that order could reduce name recognition. Another consideration is whether one firm (and therefore its name) has significantly more positive associations than the other firm (and its name). If it does, the merged firm might decide to take on that name only. Related to this, if one firm has much higher awareness than the other one, its name is a stronger candidate for preservation post-merger. Without knowing the exact names of the two merging firms and the awareness and associations for each firm, it is difficult to provide you with a specific recommendation. But I hope this provides you with some things to consider.

Peter, best of luck in building your brand. You can find more on the sometimes complex topic of brand naming here. In particular, I think you will find this post helpful.

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