How NOT to re-name your company

32336641 An Iowa based insurance brokerage called TrueNorth Companies recently announced to its staff that they will now function under a new name, Bearence Management Group.

All well and good, right?  No doubt they have given this a great deal of thought.  So let’s listen in as they explain their new name.  (I swear to God, I did not make this up.)

"Bearence is a word we’re still looking to define," company president Schwartz said, "but it obviously toys with definitions of "bear" and "bearing."

WHAT?  Ah, it gets better.  Here’s what the CEO added.

"We’ve grown dramatically over the last three years in Des Moines and feel our new name more accurately reflects our overall vision of redefining risk," Chairman and CEO Joe Teeling said.

Umm, how can the new name better reflect anything if you haven’t defined it yet?

The company launched a new Web site after a meeting with employees to reveal the new name and discuss the company’s future. 

I wonder if the employees could explain the new name to their leaders?

To add another layer of disbelief to this story — the site doesn’t seem to be live.  Staggering.

Re-naming a company isn’t something to be done lightly.   Or at the speed of light.  But even if you are going to do it without a lot of thought or time — please, have a clue what it means before you announce it to the media or your employees.


18 comments on “How NOT to re-name your company

  1. Hahahaha, best giggle of the morning. Obviously, these folks have a lot of $$$ to throw away. I should contact them and they can throw some in my direction. I have a kid’s bathroom to remodel and could use a little extra coin 🙂

  2. Cale Johnson says:

    Brilliant! Naming your company an awkward, meaningless and forgettable name is certainly a new way to define risk!

  3. Bill Gammell says:

    Please “bear” with us as we try to find our company culture and purpose. (Try the couch cushion, it always works for me!)

  4. Karen says:

    Recognizing that your company is named after yourself, what is your opinion about people naming companies with part of their name in the name of the company? What difficulties does this perhaps present down the line? What are the advantages?

  5. Shama Hyder says:

    Hi Drew,

    I seriously thought you were making this up until I saw “I swear to God I am not making this up.”

    Are you sure the company isn’t joking? Perhaps a delayed April Fool’s joke?


  6. We’ll expect a new site for McLellan Marketing Group, aka “Wolfence Group,” to be up shortly…

  7. LizaK says:

    Someone should make a randumb company name generator. Oh wait, they have! ( LOL!

  8. Strange what kind of things go on in people’s heads. And they are really convinced that it’s gonna work?

  9. Roberta,

    I had the same thought!


  10. Bill,

    It’s sort of staggering, isn’t it?


  11. Cale,

    Sadly, this is why the insurance industry has the reputation it has!


  12. Cam,

    Isn’t it the truth! Astonishing what businesses do.


  13. Karen,

    Great question. While many agencies are named after their founders, it would have been my druthers not to use my name.

    But….about halfway into my company’s history, a partner and I parted ways. So it was important for the market to know I was still at the helm and that everything was stable.

    Hence…my name in the company’s name. Otherwise, I would have rather had our name say something about the work we do.


  14. Shama,

    No, sadly it is true. It was in the business journal!


  15. Steve,

    I LOVE it! I can picture the logo already!


  16. Lisa,

    I was wondering what agency they used. Now I know!


  17. Piotr,

    Well, they must have sent out a press release or held an announcement event. So I have to assume they think it was a good idea.

    Don’t you think?


  18. They’d be smart to do a little more research about branding in my opinion. Renaming, and thus changing, a brand isn’t easy.

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