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How A Name Change Propelled an Adoption Agency to Brand Recognition

Hal Conick

When a brand name detracts from the brand image, it may be time for a change


While a rose, as Shakespeare wrote in “Romeo and Juliet,” would smell just as sweet when called by any other name, brands often run into a different conundrum: Their name, a proverbial rose, may smell fantastic but go almost entirely un-sniffed.   

Executives from Spaulding for Children, a Houston, Texas, adoption and foster care services nonprofit, were proud of the work they had done. In its 40-year history, the organization has placed more than 2,100 children into permanent adoptive homes. However, Spaulding’s brand name was lost in a fog of confusion. Chicago-based Spalding, with a homophonic name, rang more familiar to the ears of many potential Spaulding for Children clients. 


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Hal Conick is a freelance writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at halconick@gmail.com or on Twitter at @HalConick.