1. Andrew Mitchell

    Good to see your first article Amanda. I hope to see more. The naming question is one I’ve been grappling with. It’s just “the intranet” and I’d prefer to have something more engaging. I think you’re right when you advise to only rename a new or redeveloped intranet. So our renaming will have to wait.

  2. Andrew Bingham

    Hi Amanda, I am from the “culturally formal financial services organisation” that has The Vault and Max intranets. Do you have any thoughts on re-branding the intranet during a re-design? As you mentioned, Max is a powerful brand currently but is heavily tied in people’s mind to the current state. When we replace Max should we retire that brand? Love to hear your thoughts.

  3. Amanda,
    I agree – I think that it is quite important that an intranet have a brand name. I was genuinely surprised that my last intranet, called unimaginatively the ‘Information Management System’ became widely known as IMS (rhymes with rims) and as such it gained quite a strong identity.
    However what’s also important is that the brand is then adequately protected. Don’t immediately include new initiatives such as wikis, blogs etc until they have proven themselves. Users may perceive the brand as a single entity and when one part is failing this may well corrode confidence in the rest of the intranet.
    Look forward to your next article!

  4. Amanda BroomhallAmanda

    Andrew, I think if you are undertaking a re-design and you already have a strong brand, then consider the size of the change that is going to occur.

    If you are taking a ‘big bang’ approach with a great deal of change to look & feel and functionality, then a re-brand might be useful is assisting with the marketing of the project. But even then I would consider leveraging off your existing brand, by coming up with a name that is an extension of or a play on the existing, e.g. Maxima or Maxim (you might ask someone a little more creative that I am !)

    But if the way forward is going to be more subtle than that, ie incremental changes, then don’t risk the potential for confusion.

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Published September 11, 2008

Amanda Broomhall
Amanda Broomhall is a senior member of the consulting team, specialising in intranet management and design. She has worked for a decade in this space, for a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors.