We've decided to undergo a rebrand at Benefits Growth Network and change our company name. This is no small decision. It's a huge project to take on and will require us to transition all of the awareness and recognition we've built thus far onto the new identity. But we see this as an important move.

As we are going through this rebranding process, we see many lessons that can be shared which might prove helpful for anyone contemplating the current state of their business - and really, that ought to be all independent insurance agencies. Just because something was right when you started doesn't make it right today or tomorrow. Self-reflection should be a regular part of working on your business.

We felt we had outgrown our name and were really feeling the limits we had placed on ourselves with it. That was our decision, but what about yours? Words are incredibly powerful and can influence how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. But how do you know when/if it's the right decision to make a change?

What does your name say today and how does it reflect your future? Does it allow growth or is it simply reflective of the past? Does it hold you back from moving into a new model? Do an honest evaluation of your name. Ask other people in the agency, your peers, clients, and your own business partners/advisers what they think.


Questions to consider

* Are the words you use in your name separating you from your competition or are they making you look indistinguishable?

* Are those words encouraging prospective clients to contact you?

* Is the name interesting enough to make people curious to learn more or do they feel they already know what you have?

* Do the words reflect everything you bring to clients or do they pigeonhole you?

* How well do the words in your name reflect the culture of your organization?

* Do the words encourage and allow you to expand your thinking and offering about your business or do they hold you back in the way you see your own business?

Company names can be beneficial, detrimental, or just inconsequential. Look at any list of businesses and you'll immediately be able to start placing them into these three categories. While you're at it, place your own business into the right category.

If you see obvious disparities and you've determined that you need to make a change, another big factor to consider is timing. There never will be a perfect time. Instead, ask yourself how much longer can you afford to project an image that doesn't reflect the value you bring to clients.

If you don't feel good about what you've got, it's up to you to change it. No one else will do it for you. When you make the commitment, do it with a purpose. Go all in - even if it's going to be a lot of work.

People are watching and making decisions to contact or buy (or not) from you based on their perceptions. The amount of business you are potentially missing out on because of misperceptions may be substantial. Instead, make it easy for those potential clients to want to contact you. And make it a point of pride for clients and employees to want to be a part of what you offer.

Keneipp is a partner and coach with Q4intelligence, an agency transformation network (formerly Benefits Growth Network). Reach her at Wendy@ Q4intel.com.

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