Tuesday 10 April 2007

Should we change our name?

OK, this is the big question.

We've been toying for a while with the idea of changing our name back to RedJacks. I am guessing that most readers of this blog are fairly familiar with our business and know that when I founded the company back in 2001 it was called RedJacks. We changed our name to 0800handyman in 2003, believing that the concept of alphanumeric phone numbers would really take off in the UK.

In the US, it is very common and widely understood concept. Most companies over there seem to have what they call a vanity number. Want to book a meeting room at Holiday Inn? Call 1-800-MEETING. Need some flowers? Call 1-800-FLOWERS. And, yes, if you need a handyman in America you can call 1-800-HANDYMAN.

But it hasn't really taken off here in the UK. How many of you even understand what I am talking about? Many of you probably don't. Recently our web designer was running late for a meeting and he got his girlfriend to call me because he didn't have our number with him. He didn't know that our name is our number, that he could call us by dialling 0800 and then spelling out h-a-n-d-y-m-a-n on his phone. If our web designer, who is worked with our name and logo for years, didn't understand that point, then I am guessing that a lot of our customers don't either.

So, given that we think many (most?) people don't understand why we are called 0800handyman, does that matter? Maybe people just think we have a slightly odd name, but the important thing is that we fix their shelves, or fit a new tap for them, or whatever, and it doesn't matter much what we are called?

Well, maybe, but we have been running a test ad for RedJacks on Google Adwords recently and, without divulging too much sensitive information, I can say that it has received significantly higher click-through-rate than the exact same ad using the 0800handyman brand.

Why would that be? I suppose because there are now quite a few handyman-type businesses around, all called handy-this and handy-that. RedJacks stands out from the crowd. 0800handyman doesn't?

But we have been called 0800handyman for several years now, would it be wise to discard all the brand awareness we have built up and have to convince everyone we are now called RedJacks?

Big decision.

Thoughts, anyone?


Scott McLean said...

Now that is a big question?

Looking at your company from a distance my gut feeling is for you to stay with - 0800handyman.

Whether thats because since i have been aware of your company about 2 years ago its been called 0800handyman or if simply its because it says straight away on the tin exactly what you do - i dont know but even with the 0800 in the name its still catches my eye.

For some reason Redjacks does not jump out at me. But im sure with your already excellent media coverage and campaigns - it would quickly gather pace again.

...I just asked my wife what she thought and she said 0800handyman is catchy, friendly and reassuring. On the Redjacks name she would not know what it meant or stood for.

So, i know your main question was about people knowing how to call you, but given simply the name of 0800handyman or Redjacks we would go with the former.

Anonymous said...

0800Handyman is too Yellow Pages, too 00000AAAAARipYouOff. Redjacks is original and suggests what you do, which is cooler than spelling it out.

Anonymous said...

Who or what is a redjack? We know what a handyman is but alas the other name means nothing to us. Having taken a poll in our office - 1 in favour of a name change and 6 say keep it!

Well done for having a vote too - seems like most people like the 0800 name.

Anonymous said...

Redjacks sounds like a fast food product or gaming site--

Name Change UK said...

Why do we need to change our name? Are we never satisfied with it? If you will ask me, I won’t change my name either. I love my name (laughing). Hope you do as well.

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