Rebranding a Company: Here’s Two Ways

By Dee Blohm, SVP Marketing, Anteriad

I’ve led my company through two major rebrands in two years. Each were dramatically different. While it might make sense to create a completely new name and brand treatment including colors, logo and website design, other times, a brand might just need a bit of an update.

My two experiences can help show the different contexts. About a year ago, our company updated our brand, and just recently, we underwent a complete name change with all of the bells and whistles that go along with it. Here is what went into our approach.

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Updating Our Brand to Add Some Runway

Any company that’s been in business for more than a few years knows the feeling of having pivoted or evolved away from the original purpose. Sometimes, the original purpose of the brand is a bit too narrow to describe what the company does today. Other times, the original purpose of the company is totally outdated. When a company has a name that reflects their original purpose, executives and sales people often start to say that the company needs a rebrand.

While a rebrand might be the right approach, often a company can tweak their original brand to minimize the elements that nod too strongly to their origin. For example, “General Electric” is so much more than an electricity company, and so GE makes sense. Another brand “Dunkin’ Donuts” sells more coffee than doughnuts, and so they shortened their name to “Dunkin.’” This approach helps smooth out any transition phase because the brand can be refreshed, but still recognizable to customers, prospects, investors and the press.

Our original brand, MeritDirect  highlighted our origin in direct mail, despite our evolving dramatically to include robust digital capabilities. 2020 proved to be a busy year and acquisitions for our organization. Early in 2020, we acquired Compass Marketing Solutions, a leader in identifying, compiling and verifying business data in the US and Canada, which immediately provided additional scale to our B2B data solutions, new product capabilities, as well as expanded and enhanced intelligence for analytics and insights solutions. Later that year, we acquired 180byTwo, which included programmatic B2B advertising and data-driven online marketing. We knew we wanted to update our brand to better highlight our digital focus, but also didn’t want to invest too much time and money into a major rebrand because we were still planning to acquire some new capabilities in the near future. Rather, we still wanted a level of continuity for the time being.

As the marketing lead, I had to show the executives the pros and cons of a brand update vs. a total rebrand. Ultimately, we decided to rebrand as MeritB2B, a broader name that would allow us to expand our capabilities, showcase our focus on B2B while still keeping a level of familiarity for our current clients.

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Taking The Plunge With a Total Rebrand

With our more recent acquisition of True Influence, we brought in demand gen software, cloud technology, and analytics. At the same time, we more than doubled our staff, and amassed a huge base of enterprise-level B2B marketing customers.

With so many of the pieces of the puzzle put together, we knew it was the right time to chart a course for the future. One important factor was our brand. It was time to have a name and a brand that accurately reflected everything we could offer our customers and partners, and that could grow with us through our next chapter. Working with our executive team, board, marketing leadership and outside agencies, the process was really about crystallizing our vision. Together, we determined the elements of our company that are most important to our customers, and that differentiate us within our industry.

As a team, we selected a new name, Anteriad, which speaks to our strategic approach to providing B2B marketing solutions for some of the largest enterprises in the world. Then we worked with a design agency to create the fonts, colors and templates that we’d use across our site and marketing materials.

The name we chose is meaningful; anterior means “situated in front.” Every brand has elements of their organization that they want to highlight with their brand. For us, we wanted to signal that not only are we leaders in our field, we make our customers leaders. We give them the vision they need to see around the next corner and be prepared for the future. We give them confidence with our own experience and guidance. And, we bring them intelligence, with expertise, data and analytics. Our company has long acted as a trailblazer – embracing new concepts and testing new technologies well ahead of the market. Our new name reflects this legacy and speaks to our ability to forge new paths as B2B marketing continues to evolve.

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A Name for Today and Tomorrow

The new brand, Anteriad reminds us to get out in front of new trends in the market, to get in front of more customers, and of course, to get ahead of the competition. Now, when we hire new employees, we have a clear vision and an inspiring position that jumpstarts their role in the company from Day 1. Our team knows that we are ambitious, and that we are focused on our customers’ success – it’s in our name.

A great name not only captures the essence of a company, it also challenges that company to be great itself. Our name serves as a signal and an inspiration to us and our customers. I can now say with confidence that it was the right time for a major rebrand. After years of focusing on incremental product improvements and acquisitions, our teams spend more time testing new concepts, creating new models, and building new capabilities for our customers. After many years building and acquiring, we are now in a place where we can chart the course ahead of us. Anteriad was the brand name that best reflected that shift.

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