What’s in a business name?
Longtime Butler company changes name to reflect its work, vision

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

August 4, 2017


From the Klassen Remodeling & Design office at 12424 W. Lancaster Ave., Butler, to its name, all is intended to reflect the company’s approach to providing dignified, quality products and service.
Submitted photo

The new name — Klassen Remodeling & Design.

The process of changing the business’s name took three months and it was unveiled May 1.

“The name didn’t have a heck of a lot of traction. It wasn’t like renaming Coke or some major corporation; we really weren’t that well known,” Klassen said. “Regardless, it took a lot of effort to do; it was a hefty process.”

Although Klassen didn’t want to incorporate his name into the business name at first, he was persuaded to do so by some people he sought advice from because they said it gave the name a more personal connotation and that it would have “more impact in this environment than others.”

In fact, when the business was still named Wallner Builders, Klassen said someone he worked with regularly kept calling him “Mr. Wallner.” So although the clients knew what Wallner Builders did and what values they represented, Klassen said, the general public did not.

That was evident when he participated in a builders expo. After the event Klassen learned that people walked past Wallner Builders’ booth because they wanted a remodeler and assumed the company only did new construction.

“We wanted a name that depicts what we did. That was job one. And then we looked for a name that somehow communicated who we were trying to be and who we are,” Klasssen said.

Klassen Remodeling & Design focuses on quality — in its communications, sale process and in its products and services.

Ron Klassen
Submitted photo

“We were constantly looking for ways to reinforce that and strengthen that. The name would ideally have communicated that,” Klassen said.

In the end, the renaming took about three months and cost almost five figures, but for a larger company it would have been much more expensive, Klassen said. Much of the cost was associated with changing the website and upgrading it to be more professional in appearance and easy to navigate.

Klassen said “the jury is still out” on whether the name change will benefit Klassen Remodeling & Design, but he advises people who are thinking about altering their company’s name to do it sooner rather than later.

“Don’t wait too long. If you are getting signals from the marketplace, just do it,” he said.

Name-changing process not yet over

While a lot of work has been completed, Klassen said there is more to be done with the name change.

“Through the process, we had to complete about a half-dozen new credit applications under the new name. We threw out boxes of envelopes and three virtually new boxes of business cards. Luckily, we print our own letterhead, so we were spared that expense (and disposal). Some things were very easy, others became a tangled mess of delays and uncertainty,” he said.

He advises business owners to calculate the planned cost of rebranding and then add 20 percent and also estimate the hours that will be spent taking care of the name change and rebranding, then ask, “Is it worth it?”

“That isn’t meant to dissuade anyone; it’s meant as a reality check. In our case, we knew going in that it was going to take a lot to make it all happen, but we felt the end result was worth the investment. Only time will tell for sure. It’s worked well for much larger organizations, and we see examples of a company rebranding almost every week. As long as our initial assumptions were correct, we should be in good shape,” Klassen said.

Email: kmichalets@conleynet.com