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Recommended Reading: Time to Rebrand?

Change names only if needed to reflect company's evolution.
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As channels blur and distributors add new products to the mix, companies should ask themselves if a rebranding campaign might better represent their new position in the marketplace. But they must be strategic about why and how they execute a reinvention, says Ryan Gallagher, president of Rocket Industrial, in Rebranding Road Map.

The Wausau, WI, company changed its name from Packaging Tape Inc. a few months ago because, as Gallagher says, “Packaging Tape, or PTI, was just not who we were anymore. It helped communicate internal changes that had happened within our company, and it helped us get out of a ‘packaging tape’ perception. We’re way beyond packaging tape.”

Essendant Inc., Deerfield, IL, is another distributor that rebranded to better suit its current offerings. The company's former name, United Stationers, was appropriate when its primary product was office supplies, but not anymore, says Vince Phelan, director of category marketing and communications for business and facility essentials.

“As we started to grow our business in cleaning, facility maintenance categories, as well as breakroom and foodservice, technology and industrial, we quickly realized, particularly when we approached people in the e-commerce space, that we had a lot of capabilities," he says.

A similar motive sparked a recent name change at Falcon Fastening Solutions, Charlotte, NC, known from 1979-2014 as Falcon Metal Corp. The company had evolved over the years, and in December 2013, Falcon’s leaders agreed that a subtle name shift – specifically, shedding the word “Metal” – would more accurately describe its offerings, according to President Don Nowak.

“Our customers knew what we did, but when we went to the market and started working heavily in business development, there seemed to be confusion,” Nowak says. “Some folks considered us a steel service center, others thought we were a sheet metal fabricator.”

Read more about reasons behind rebranding campaigns and best practices for executing one in Rebranding Road Map.

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