Q: We are an audio/video reproduction service, and our name reflects soon-to-be-outdated technology-cassettes. Is there a way to market our company using a new name and have people realize it's still the same firm?
A: With technology changing so quickly, naming your business requires care. Your company name should reflect what you do, but if circumstances change, you risk being perceived as prehistoric. Here's my suggestion: Replace "cassettes" with something more encompassing, such as "media" or "communications."
One way to reinforce your core business is to announce your name change through a direct-mail and e-mail marketing campaign that explains your newly evolved service. Send out a CD-ROM business card featuring case studies of clients you've worked with. Send two in each package-one for your customer or prospect, and one for them to send out to someone who might need your services. Remember to add links to your CD-ROM regarding additional services or specials you might offer.
Thank loyal customers by offering to give them two CDs or DVDs for the price of one if they order by a certain date. This new technology is the product you sell-but it also shows customers and prospects how it can be used to market their own products or services. And consider inviting current customers to a special event that celebrates your new identity and service line.
Nancy Michaels is president of ImpressionImpact.com, a marketing consulting company. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.