Today I’m thinking about ‘Do Diligence’ (get it?).
My wife is a huge scrapbooker. Wait, wait – stick with me.
If you’re looking for paper, embellishments, Cricut cartridges – any supply, you name it, she has it. So no surprise that she has been stressing the last few months when she learned one of her favorite scrapbook supply companies, Creative Memories, was filing for bankruptcy. Well, news came yesterday that the company is being ‘reborn’ and ‘reshaped’ as Ahni & Zoe, by Creative Memories. Ahni & Zoe, (A to Z) stands for Beautiful (Ahni) Life (Zoe).
As my wife was telling me this she told me to Google it. I asked her to spell it so she did. Being an impatient male and living in the 21st Century I typed ‘Ahni’ and hit enter figuring this news would be one of the first things to come up. But instead I’m looking at the website for The American Health Network…and a bunch of images of a scantily clad woman in very, very compromising poses. Turns out Ahni Luv is a model who is very confident in her body and her looks. (Feel free to Google for yourself.)
Should Creative Memories aka Ahni & Zoe have done anything to prevent this? Is it a no big deal? I was curious. I know what I would have said from a PR standpoint but I decided a digital challenge needed a digital perspective. So I asked our director of digital strategy, Michael Schwabe – who provided some valuable insight, as always:
The biggest challenge you encountered during your search was the use of AHNI as a generic term, which Google took to be anything with those four letters as a legitimate result to show you. Those results could be based on a direct match, some anticipated intent and assumption by Google, or by extrapolating some relationship between previous searches you had conducted, or even your user profile. Compounding the fact that AHNI is used as an acronym by some and a proper name by others is the longevity and history of the new company name compared to how long those other sites have been live and active. The new brand position will be Ahni & Zoe, but they have no perceived online equity…yet.
They will need not only a strong SEO strategy with some carefully chosen keywords – and hopefully they will avoid using their own company name ‘ahni’ as one of those – to rise to the top of results. Once that is in place, they can look to build or transfer their community of followers, build good linking content, promote their app and commerce platform, etc.
With the variety of products that they appear to be offering, and the undoubtedly loyal fan/user base (your wife as an example), they should shake out of this with plenty to focus on that will help downplay the name confusion and focus on solutions and products they offer. They may encounter some less-than-desireable associations with those other AHNI’s at first, but solid digital planning (new domain, the right redirects, maybe even some paid ads) mixed with an offline communications campaign would go a long way to make sure that regardless of what the user is searching for – products, how-to’s, news and information on the change – Ahni & Zoe can appear close to the top of a search result page.
It’s an uphill, but winnable, hill to climb. I get why they chose the new name, but hopefully they have some plans to work to push those other company’s and personalities down the page long-term as it won’t be a one-time effort.
The big takeaway? Don’t name your company after swimsuit models. And if you do, make sure you have a sound online digital strategy in place first.