I've written about this before -- how to do a name transition. Obviously nobody at GoTo (as of today Overture) read it. Three key things:
1. Don't change everything at once. Your colors are part of your brand. I'll bet lots of people visiting GoTo today are startled when a blue/black site pops up. I'll bet many of them think, "Oh I'm at the wrong site, must have made a typo" and start typing "GoTo" into their address bar before the site finishes loading.
I used to be the marketer for a famous $800 per year newsletter for Satellite Industry execs. They all read it. They all loved it. But they didn't call it by its name (which was Satellite News) -- they called it "The blue one" because it was printed on blue paper. When our telemarketers called up to sell these guys renewals or editors called to get quotes, they'd say, "I'm calling from Satellite News." People would say, 'Which one is that?" Then our telemarketers or reporters would say, "The blue one." "Oh yes, that one!"
2. Create one (if not a series) of transitional logos. These logos should include BOTH company names. So when people glance at the logo, it's really obvious who you used to be, and who you are now. This process in the print world when we changed publication names went on for about six months and used at least 3 logos. The first one was OLD NAME becomming new name. The second was NEW NAME formerly old name. The third was NEW NAME.
3. Include your old name in your advertising. Overture just launched a giant marketing campaign - including banners, newsletter ads and direct mail across multiple lists and media. Very few (if any) of the campaigns even mention the old name. So all campaigns appear to be from a new company you never heard of. Which means response rates will almost certainly be lower than if they'd mentioned - we used to be that company you already knew and trusted!
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