It is such a large decision to choose a name. Yet, when something tragic happens like the BP oil spill, do you consider a name change? Check out this article in the Huffington Post.
Anytime you change your company name, it is a huge deal. A company like BP has invested years and large sums of money building their brand. And it all came crashing down with one tragic accident. Blame throwing, government involvement and lots of oil killing defenseless animals and now BP is faced with a choice. This article asks – do you throw the name away and start fresh (like ValueJet changed to Airtran after crashing). Or, do you try to rebuild your brand and possibly turn out stronger (like Tylenol, Toyota and Exxon)? It is a tough choice.
When is it okay to change your name? Well, this might be the time. In small business, if you purchased a business with a tarnished reputation or if you have a confusing name, that might be the time. I see so many small business owners using several versions of their name and even have a website that is a little different than their name. That makes it difficult for people to bond with your brand. If your business is new and you are confusing people with how it is spelled or pronounced, this might be a good time to change your name. If your name is made up of a bunch of random initials, a more memorable name may be in order.
BP, British Petroleum, has already used a brand building strategy once, by using their ad campaign to change the name BP to mean beyond petroleum. This stinks for them because they were positioning themselves to be environmentally conscious and then look what happened anyway.
I think it is time for BP to not only change their name but to change their structure and come out as an entirely new company. If you were BP, what would you do?