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Marketing a Name Change
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How can you build a buzz around your brand to grow your business if the brand name isn't easy to remember and doesn't set you apart in any way from your competitors? One solution - and one that takes courage when you've been in business for a number of years - is to change the name of your company.

That's the approach David Hauser and Siamak Taghaddo cofounders of the business formerly known as GotVMail have taken to bring attention to the company and the advanced phone number service and virtual PBX it offers small businesses and startups. The company's new name, Grasshopper, was chosen by Tagjaddo (the company's CEO) and Hauser (the CTO) because in one way, grasshoppers are like entrepreneurs the company serves. "They can leap 20 times further than their body length." says Taghaddo. "They can go far even though they are small."

grasspromo.jpgTo promote the name change and to associate the new name Grasshopper with entrerpeneurship, the company created a video called Entrepreneurs Can Change the World. They created a mailing list of 5000 influential bloggers and writers, and sent each person on the list a package of chocolate-covered grasshoppers. The chocolate covered grasshoppers were shipped in a FedEx 2-day shipping envelope. There was no sales letter enclosed. The only thing in the envelope besides the package of chocolate covered grasshoppers was a tag that had a package number, and the words "Entrepreneurs can change the world. Join the Movement Now!" There was a link below those words to the video.

"We knew for a while that we wanted to find a name that spoke to the brand and culture of the company," says Taghaddo. "We were developing a better version of the services with new and improved features our customers had asked for, and wanted to do the name change at the same time."

How effective was the promotion?

Well, it did get attention. There's something about getting a FedEx package that has nothing but a pack of chocolate covered grasshoppers and a tag with a web link that makes you want to go look at that link. So, the company did get calls and publicity. Whether those calls and publicity will turn into a long-term business is something only time will tell, of course.

More: Six Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Business Name

Posted by on May 19, 2009 at 1:30 PM | Comments (0)

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