Why simplicity is crucial to rebranding.

Snapchat illustrates the power of rebranding

Rebranding is a powerful strategy that can boost media exposure, help launch a new product and pull a company together to overcome new market challenges. Snapchat was in the news late last week as they rebranded their parent company to Snap.  Understanding the fundamentals of rebranding is crucial to ensure success. If you rebrand incorrectly or for the wrong reasons, it could destroy your market momentum and business. 

Domains play an often overlooked however essential part to the rebranding process.

When is the right time to rebrand?

Many critical factors lead up to the need to rebrand including changing market dynamics, new products, and differentiation from your competitors. As companies pivot and grow their product offering, initial branding may box in your business and message. For example, startups are encouraged to be laser focused on a target audience and product. 

The original branding may create barriers for new products. One of the main reasons for rebranding is if your brand name is restricting you from evolving and expanding the business. Ask yourself these questions to determine if your current brand is inhibiting growth.

  • Does your brand allow you to pivot and introduce new products?
  • Does your business model make sense based on market dynamics?
  • Does your company vision match your brand?
  • Does your messaging fit your product offering?
  • Are You Differentiated Enough from the Competition?
  • Has the competitive landscape changed?

Here are 5 strategic considerations for a rebrand from CMO.com

  1. Identify Your New Brand Promise
  2. Get Employees On Board
  3. Slapping A New Logo Onto Your Site Is Not A Rebrand
  4. A Rebrand Is Not A Marketing Initiative
  5. Do Your Homework

Here is a great quote from the CEO of Miller Ingenuity, Steve Blue: 

“You should only rebrand if you meet one of two conditions.  If your brand promise does not serve you right anymore is the first. The second is you’ve evolved, and you’re not what you used to be.” Branding and domain strategies are almost inseparable.

These same rebranding principals also apply to your domain name decisions.  Often the domain name a startup acquires is based on keeping the investment down which leads to adding more words such as LLC, group, associates, etc.  Upgrading your domain to an exact match or shorter version of your brand can be the first step in a strategic pivot.

Snapchat rebrands to Snap

Last week Snapchat rebranded to Snap to encompass its efforts to pivot beyond the mobile app space.  This is an excellent example of how shortening your brand and domain creates simplicity and power.

Snap raised $1.8 billion in May and had plans to introduce a new product to increase engagement and revenue.  They needed a structured platform to expand and not create confusion with their main product Snapchat. Moving to Snap.com is a brilliant branding move that provides an effortless interaction thru their brand. Although they are currently only using the domain Snap.com for their corporate communications, this gives them a parent platform to interact as they expand product offerings. Here are their three main sites:

  • Snap.com (corporate brand)
  • SnapChat.com (original product)
  • Spectacles.com (new product)

Acquiring the domain Snap.com was a must to this strategic rebrand.  This is a great example of a well thought-out domain strategy and rebrand.

Gusto made a brilliant rebranding decision

Back in 2015, ZenPayRoll had a strategic decision to make.  They realized that their current brand and domain were limiting their ability to communicate new product offerings. 

They were also competition against a brand that sounded very similar and with ten times more funding. Like a good startup, ZenPayRoll was laser focused on a single message and market when they started. 

They helped companies manage their payroll services.  As they grew, they added workers compensation and health benefits. The new name allowed the company to expand beyond payroll processing services and is a reference to a feeling of enthusiasm. Rebranding to Gusto helped them clarify any potential confusion customers might have with their largest competitor – Zenifits.com.

These three companies almost lost it all by rebranding.

Think strategically when you rebrand. Is it communicating a change in the product offering or expansion? PR Daily has five great examples of rebranding efforts that ended in disaster.

  • Overstock.com to O.co (2011)
  • RadioShack to Shack.com (2009)
  • Pizza Hut to The Hut (2009)

Don’t mistake rebranding for marketing.  Old Spice is a great example of using effective marketing versus changing your brand. Also, read this article by Hubspot on how not to kill your SEO during a rebranding process.

Domains are the foundation for a successful rebranding

Domains are a foundational part of rebranding because they provide a path to interact with your brand.  They are the gateway for your online presence. When domains are acquired strategically, they create an effortless way for the consumer to move thru the customer journey.  Domains are exponentially powerful the closer they communicate your brand message What would you have said if Snap used the domain Snapco.com or Snapllc.com.  Acquiring Snap.com was foundational to brand communication and reinforcing their marketing.  Any other domain would have created complications because of the disconnect with their marketing. 

For example, we are Snap but go to SnapLLC.com for more information.  The power of a domain is in how it synergizes with the marketing creating no extra effort for interaction. If you acquire a domain correctly, it goes unnoticed and allows your brand to shine. 

If domains are acquired incorrectly they create additional noise and barriers for your brand messaging. **Check out the Media Options C.O.N.V.E.R.T  framework to help you evaluate your domain decision.


Rebranding is a powerful strategy that can boost media exposure, help launch a new product and pull a company together to overcome new market challenges. Snapchat’s decision to rebrand to Snap is an excellent example of the power of simplicity because of how it connects with their primary product while allowing them to pivot to new categories.

Domain acquisition plays an important part of the rebranding strategy.  Domains are the foundation to owning and controlling the destination for your brand. Here are a few premium domains that Media Options is brokering that will make great brands: www.Host.com, www.Heart.com, www.Author.com

If you are looking to acquire a domain, let’s talk.  Media Options has access to the largest portfolio or public and private domains.

Media Options: Media Options is an industry-leading domain name broker, specializing in domain acquisitions and domain sales. As a thought leader in domain name valuation, domain investment and online media strategy, we provide consulting services to everyone from Startups looking for a brand to Fortune 500 companies looking to launch a new product or service. We also have tremendous experience and knowledge in the entire naming process.