Research Output
Branding through renaming for strategic alignment in service organisations
  The overall goal of this study was to develop a theoretically based and empirically grounded process framework to understand radical organisational renaming within service industries, particularly Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The specific research aim was to analyse organisational renaming as an option to rebrand and reposition an unhealthy brand image and to identify and define renaming factors and processes that successful radical renaming utilise. The research design was a semistructured, qualitative, multiple-case study format that incorporated open-ended interview questions with 49 stakeholders from three separate institutions and secondary research data from printed documents, web sites and outside media sources. The early literature review for this study supported the premise that renaming is complicated and driven by individual strategic organisational goals that center around eliminating or softening negatives and strengthening or even creating new positives. This research uncovered the brand flux nature that precedes radical renaming and identified the various processes associated with revitalizing, rebranding, repositioning and renaming which resulted in a Brand Flux Model that depicts how the flux nature of branding critically impacts renaming. Additionally, it identified twelve distinct factors that were grouped into a four stage process framework model; this Renaming Process Model describes the importance placed on each impact factor as well as how the order of the factors influence the overall success of a renaming. Strategic placement on the model represents the continuing strategic realignment and co-created nature inherent in renaming within a service industry. A template that highlights the significance of realigning "8 Principles of Renaming" to the strategic goals of the institution was also developed. The study contributed to the areas of branding, rebranding and repositioning by defining terms and proposing nuanced definitions, including a working definition for radical renaming. It culminated with the development of the Brand Flux model and a proposed Renaming Process Model that tracks renaming in a service environment. This qualitative research format and accompanying models and processes can be used to study renaming in a variety of industries.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 May 2012

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    659 Advertising & public relations


Williams, R. L. Branding through renaming for strategic alignment in service organisations. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from


Branding; service organisations; renaming;

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