5 tips to deal with inherited branding

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I wish my parents had known more about SEO when they named me.

ken cook

Embrace the name!

Sometimes when we in the digital branding and marketing sphere take on a new employer or client we face a few “name” challenges. We really cannot do much about it because the company is already born and we’re late to the game. I understand. I mean my name is Ken Cook for Pete’s sake. Google me by name and you’ll have to dig way down to find me. On Google, in fact, I am currently 9th and 11th in raw search results and those are my Twitter and G+ accounts respectively! I feel as if I have no respect. But alas, it is my fault.

Say you inherit the reigns for SEO and social evangelism at a company already named. Say that company has been around for a while and they “just don’t get it” about the importance of a well designed and scientifically engineered name space. It happens. It happened to me – a few times. Remember your training, stick to the basics and don’t make any big, sweeping changes. Here are five bullets I use to win the name shoot-out:

Embrace the name – even if the company has a very unusual sounding or what you would consider negatively branded name. Like say, Toothpaste by Toilet or Plane of Death Airlines. While I’m not saying they should not immediately change names and carve their own eyes out with a broken toothpick that’s not our jobs as lowly brand engineers. Embrace the name as though it were your baby.

2 thoughts on “5 tips to deal with inherited branding

  1. Austrian Crystal? :) And we think – what’s in a name…. Some companies that have the same name as other companies in a different business have it toughest. First, they need to compete for domain names and then need to compete for search engine results! It might be better if the smaller company changes the name!

    1. For the start up a name change may not be as critical but for any business which has been around for any time a name change could go either way. Properly handled it could be a pathway to higher acceptance and include the original crowd. Sears and Roebuck became Sears. Rich’s became Macy’s. Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC.

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