Dave Deasy
December 6, 2019

The Art of Changing Your Brand Name

Guest: Dave Deasy - Chief Marketing Officer, TrustArc

There is probably nothing more fundamental to marketing than your brand name. It usually takes years to build awareness and equity, especially the kind of equity that helps recruit employees, retain customers and attract prospects. So, when a company decides to change its name, that’s a really big deal or at least it should be given both the challenges of finding a new name and then rebuilding the lost equity. In this episode, Dave Deasy, CMO of TrustArc, formerly TRUSTe, walks us through their entire renaming process.

Over the course of this interview, you’ll learn how to tell when a name change is in order and a concrete process for the development of the new name. Involving an outside naming firm was only part of the answer. Another important component was the role of the CEO and his insistence that the executive committee build consensus together. Along the way, Deasy shows his artfulness, encouraging his branding agency to “get crazy” when thinking about the logo design, a suggestion that resulted in the addition of a fin to the logo and a whole new story line for the introduction. This is just one of the many insightful stories you’ll find in this episode.

How did you know it was time to change your name?

As we grew our product and platform, it became difficult to convince a lot of prospects that we were a technology company, because when they would hear the TRUSTe name, they would immediately think to themselves and say, that’s right, you’re the certification company. We pushed on that hard for a couple of years and eventually came to the conclusion that as hard as we were trying, there was too much friction and headwinds

to overcome. And so that’s when we began to actively take a hard investigation into at a minimum, we needed to rebrand the company, but potentially we needed to go as far as actually renaming the company.

Ultimately, what did the name change accomplish?

It helped us start to tell the story more confidently around the fact that we were a technology company. You could almost see it immediately where our sales team felt more confident going out and telling prospects that, hey, we’re not just a services company, we’re now a full-fledged technology company. And as the sales team got more confident, you can just see the overall confidence level in the company start to grow. We saw over time a significant uptick in our sales trajectory. And ultimately it helped us lead to a large funding round. A couple of months ago, we closed a big $70 million-dollar funding round and there you have it.

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