Have you noticed that a company you have been working with for years will suddenly have a new name? It seems to happen a lot these days. When I recently updated the free list of mystery shopping companies, I noticed that several companies had changed their names.
Why does it happen? It doesn’t mean that the company is trying to hide anything. There are several possible reasons for a name change. Let’s look at a few.
They expanded their services and the old name was too limiting. Many companies offer auditing, marketing, branding and other services that go way beyond mystery shopping. Having “mystery shopping” or something similar in the company name doesn’t adequately describe what they can do for clients, so they adopt a more inclusive name.
They are serving new industries. Perhaps Bank Mystery Shoppers was a good name when they were only shopping banks, but now they are offering services to a wide variety of industries. Time for a new name!
The old name was old-fashioned. Companies may wish to rebrand and update their image with a new website, new logo and a more modern name.
They now operate in a wider geographic area. When they started out, they were only shopping within their city or state, but now they are national or international. A name such as South Florida Secret Shoppers makes it sound as though that is the only area they serve.
They merged with or were acquired by another company. This happens a lot. Sometimes a small company is acquired by a larger company and they are absorbed into the larger company. Or perhaps two companies merge and choose a new name for the new entity. There are lots of reasons for companies to be sold or to merge with another company. The owners may want to retire or move into another business, or they may have health or cash flow issues that force them to sell. Merging can make two (or more) small companies larger, giving them economies of scale and a greater presence in the market. When a merger happens, that means a new name for one or both companies.
And in the opposite of a merger, a division may be spun off from a company and take a new name. For example, a block of business (such as banking and finance clients) could be spun off into a new company specializing in that industry.
Whatever the reasons, you can expect that many companies will begin operating with new names. Change is a fact of life in the mystery shopping industry just as it is in other industries.