Rebranding & Name Changes

Rebranding & Name Changes

2020 has taught us that change is ever-present in both life and business. 

Everything around us changes over time, if we’re lucky that change is progressive and helps to signal growth and evolution.  Keeping that in mind, we here are Lake Strategic are excited to announce our name change for the new year.  Moving forward Lake Strategic will be known as Affilium.

While our name is changing the same continued level of strategic thinking, client partnership, and brand building will remain the same.  We are still partnering with clients to develop strategic and measurable marketing solutions that drive brand growth, our mission is connecting clients with customers, period.   Our team is still committed to providing a mindful, straight-forward, consultative approach to achieve your business objectives.  Building on this announcement, let’s take a deeper dive into rebranding – some reasons why organizations rebrand and give some real-world examples, a couple of which may surprise you, or at the very least be a fun trivia anecdote you can share.

How To Rebrand


Here are a handful of common reasons it might be time for a rebranding effort.

  • You’ve Merged or Been Acquired – Bringing two organizations together under one roof is daunting to say the least. Will one of the two organization names live on or will this marriage give rise to a new name altogether.  Example of the former would be Sprint merging with T-Mobile.  T-Mobile was seen as the stronger brand with great equity so the Sprint name gave way to T-Mobile.  An example of the latter would be Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications merging and becoming Spectrum.

You Look Like Your Competitors or You’re Outdated – These are design-based reasons, sometimes companies that share a market space tend to draw from the same color palette and design pool, which can be challenging if you’re looking to differentiate yourself.  Take a look at the auto industry, notice anything similar between the logos for Mini, Bentley, and Chrysler?  Or the luxury brands Gucci and Chanel, very similar.  These examples show established brands but if you’re trying to compete as an up-and-coming brand wouldn’t it be nice to set yourself apart?


Sometimes your brand has become dated and no longer projects your organizations true identity or doesn’t take advantage of a more aligned psychological color palette.  An example of this would be a company in our backyard here in Wisconsin, Fiserv.  During the Great Recession the financial industry was struggling mightily and most of the brand colors at that time in the fintech space were primarily blue.  Both of those reasons were a catalyst for Fiserv to rebrand and change their brand colors from primarily blue to orange.  When asked why the color orange the then CEO, Jeffery Yabuki stated, the color reflected the personality of Fiserv, a “vibrant, fresh, and energetic” company.  In additional to the color psychology, orange help set them visually apart from competitors, and “has a certain heat and energy to it”, said Yabuki.*

* From online archive of Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, published on 2/22/2009
  • They did so by changing their name to the Livestrong Foundation, now simply Livestrong.

Prunes had a real image problem of their own, yep the dried fruit spent millions in market research to discover that younger people didn’t connect with the word “prunes”, so they rebranded as “dried plums”, you guessed it sales increased dramatically after shedding their old image.

  • Your Audience Has Changed – you are no longer providing products or services that you originally set out to provide. Sometimes brands start out trying to be everything to everyone and overtime that changes.  Think of the general contractor who over the years has carved out a niche providing exclusive high end outdoor living spaces and has built a name as a leader in that very specific niche.  The original name might not fit or worse yet, doesn’t communicate quickly the services they provide to their targeted audience.

We wanted to give you a few historical examples of organizations changing their name in order to better reflect their future.  From a long list here are three of our favorites.

I bet you didn’t know that Nike was once known as Blue Ribbon Sports!  Back in 1964, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman founded Blue Ribbon Sports, they were a US distributor of running shoes made by the Japanese company Onisuka Tiger.  In 1971, Blue Ribbon Sports was planning on launching their own shoes that they would design and manufacture and needed a name to better represent their future ambitions.  After numerous suggestions and much discussion, Nike (the Greek goddess of victory) was chosen. 

Fast forward a couple of decades and in 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin created a search algorithm to crawl the web and essentially rank pages more efficiently and provide more relevant search results.  The project was dubbed “Backrub” and it wasn’t until the following year Larry Page decided the search technology and subsequent company needed a new name, “Google” was born. 

Here’s a more recent example, in 2017 Restoration Hardware changed their name to simply “RH”.  This was done to better reflect their position in the marketplace as a lifestyle company that has moved well beyond their “hardware” roots. 

There are lots of reasons that companies change their name and rebrand themselves.  For us we simply wanted to better communicate our diverse pillars of marketing solutions that we’ve been building since 2012.  As we look toward a brighter future, we will be providing the marketing fuel that drives business growth engines for organizations.  We will just be continuing to provide those services as Affilium – Connecting Clients to Customers!

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