Over the last couple of years, especially since Covid, we have seen a lot of companies take a step back and revisit their mission and structure. Choosing the right name for your organization is not an easy task, but it can determine the success of your organization.
Better Benefits Consultants has officially been renamed to Enhanced Mission Network. Why you ask?
It’s not uncommon for a business to change its name, and the reasons vary. There could be a number of issues, something like the original name being too hard to pronounce, or it could be due to a shift in the company’s mission.
Take for instance the story of how the name Starbucks came to life. Starbucks co-founder Gordon Bowker said that the original name for the chain was Cargo House. Thinking the name wasn’t a perfect fit, brainstorming continued.
Bowker, having an advertising background, wanted a name that started with “st” as “st” words are seen as powerful and strong.
One of Gordon’s team pulled out an old map of the Pacific Northwest and found a mining town called Starbo. From there, Bowker thought of the first mate in the book, “Moby Dick” — Starbuck. He added an “s” to the end to make it sound more conversational and what would become the world’s biggest coffee chain had a name.
As we thought about our original name, people would often ask, “Do you supply health, dental, and vision services?” So, we knew a name change was needed. As we brainstormed names, we thought about why we do what we do. Our mission is to help nonprofit organizations be 100% mission-focused. In essence, we Enhance the nonprofit’s ability to be a change agent in the world. Then we thought about how we do what we do. We develop collaborative Networks between nonprofit and for-profit organizations so everyone can win. Therefore, Enhanced Mission Network was born and we couldn’t be happier with it.
If you are reading this, you might also be considering a name change for your organization. Here are our best tips for changing your business name:
Come up with multiple options
Changing your business name and then going back to the original one is very difficult to do; the new name is more or less your final stop. We found it helpful to come up with multiple options, and ask our team to vote on their favorite. This is how we landed on “EMN”.
Make sure it’s not already taken
As previously stated, it’s crucial that the new name is a hole-in-one. Before changing your business name, check and see if the domain for it is available (nonprofits usually use .org), and make sure that name is not already copyrighted – just because the name isn’t in use doesn’t mean it isn’t copyrighted; search “Trademarks” on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website (www.uspto.gov).
Let your staff, donors, and volunteers know
Start dropping hints that your business name will be changing at least a month before it becomes official. You want to make sure your staff, donors, and volunteers know that it’s still the same organization, just with a different title. Send out an announcement by email and post on social media to make sure the world knows about your new identity.
Make it unique
One thing we considered while deciding on our new name was our “it” factor. What makes us different from other businesses in our niche? We decided to lean into our long-term goal of supporting nonprofits and their mission and highlighted that in our name. When people hear the words “Enhanced Mission Network”, they know exactly what we do.
Changing your business name is a huge step in any organization’s evolution. When done right, it can be a fast track to success. Just make sure that all options are thoroughly weighed, make sure the name is available, share the intention to change your name with your audience, and choose a name that reflects the heart and soul of your business.