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What's in a name for organizations re-branding themselves?

By Kimberly Davidow, Reporter
Published On: Nov 15 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 16 2012 05:24:45 PM CST

Two big names in Berks County have undergone brand name makeovers.

READING, Pa. -

Two big names in Berks County have undergone brand name makeovers.

The Reading Phillies will unveil their new name Saturday, and the Reading Hospital and its affiliates are now known as Reading Health System.

When it comes to creating a new brand identity, there's a lot that goes into a name.

"It's not something you embark on lightly," said Tom Sheehan, a branding expert and principal at Tom Sheehan Worldwide.

A major reason established companies and organizations change their names is to tell their target audience, "What you may have been at one point may not be at what you are today. You want your name to be reflective of where you are right now," said Sheehan.

The Reading Hospital felt it necessary to change its name to the Reading Health System because it wanted to better serve the community. Hospital officials unveiled their new name this week.

Officials said they did their homework, asking the community as to what it would like to see.

A successful brand can do more than establish a company's identity. Sheehan said it can also elicit an emotional response.

"That's what the brand is, what do people expect," said Sheehan.

The Reading Hospital's name switch was relatively seamless. Some re-branding  transitions, however, are not as easy for people to accept.

After 46 years being the Reading Phillies, the minor league baseball team is set to announce its new name Saturday.

The R-Phils hired marketing company Brandiose for the re-branding of the team. Eric Scarcella, director of public relations for the R-Phils, said Brandiose worked for 18 months to develop a new name for the franchise that would better highlight the relationship between the R-Phils, the Phillies and the heritage of Baseballtown. Rumor has it that one of the name possibilities is the Reading Fightins.

"Some people are going to push back on any change," said Sheehan.

Time will tell if re-branding ultimately is a home run or a strike out.