How to change a brand's name successfully

Brands change their name for several different reasons, including repositioning, merger, acquisition, globalization of brands or to counter bad publicity or a negative image. The change can be major — a completely different name, such as Marathon to Snickers; minor — a slight modification to the original name, such as US Air to US Airways; or simply involve the addition of the parent brand name — Chicken Tonight to Knorr Chicken Tonight.


While tracking measures usually suffer a significant decline with a brand name change, most measures show a steady increase towards original levels after the new name is introduced. As would be expected, unaided brand awareness experiences the sharpest drop. Although, on average, total brand communication awareness actually increases following renaming, this is likely to reflect an increase in activity to communicate the brand name change.