Rebranding and renaming: why, how and what


Rebranding often involves a name change. Our name development process not only leads to a great name, but also brings clarity on what the renewed brand stands for. As a concrete decision needs to be made on a brand that has not yet crystallised, it's often a great way to involve all stakeholders in the renewed identity.

Why rebrand?

Merger or acquisitions

A merger, acquisition or partnership where one name needs to be chosen for the entire organisation (this still involves a choice: one of the existing names, or search for a completely new name)


  • The current name is in Dutch and difficult to use in an international context for linguistic reasons

  • The current name may not be used abroad for legal reasons (trademark law)

  • The current name evokes undesirable associations in international context

Growth issues

  • Current name works restrictively on existing or new products, services and/or competences

  • Brand wants to appeal to new, different or multiple audiences

  • There is a (too) extensive brand portfolio in which there is a lot of overlap between propositions or audiences

Reputation issues

  • When trust in a brand or product is (has become) too low

  • Existing brand values do not (no longer) match brand strategy

  • A structurally wrongly developed price perception

Advantages and disadvantages of a rebranding

The positive effects

  • A rebranding is always a perfect moment for renewal, refreshment, a new sound

  • There is an opportunity for new brand values, repositioning and a matching marketing strategy

  • Renewed acquaintance with the existing audience

  • Appropriate introduction to new audiences

  • PR boost: attention for the refreshed brand and an opportunity to tell the new story

  • Create internal equivalence in a merger/acquisition

  • Further reorganise portfolio to lower costs and bring more focus to one or more hero brands.

The setbacks

  • Short term costs: time, energy and money

  • Saying goodbye to old, built-up brand values and associations is never fun

  • Internal: change can create resistance and unrest

  • External: it is always a question of how the market reacts: will the market accept it? Or will part of the market/target group drop out?

  • There is a risk of decrease in total financial value of the brand

  • After 3 years: loss of legal ownership of the old word mark (if it's not used).

Do's and don'ts for the renaming process

Last checks before the final name choice

So you have 3 to 5 viable name candidates. These are the checks to make!

After the choice

File your wordmark in the relevant goods classes and trademark registers. If no opposition occurs within two months, the trademark is officially registered and your property.

In the meantime is a great moment to develop your new visual identity and make the first steps in implementation.

This is also the time to report the name change to the Chamber of Commerce. This can be done very simply via the website.

If not already done have relevant domains registered or purchased.

If the name of your BV is also changed, ask a notary to change the official, statutory name as well.

And then... spread the word!

The rollout can begin!

Want to win with words?