Roger the RobotBack in 2004 a guy named Rand Fishkin and his Mom created a little SEO consulting company named SEOmoz. Over the last 9 years Rand has built SEOmoz and Roger the Robot into a juggernaut of SEO tools and information. is one of the most recognized, most used, most authoritative SEO sites on the Internet. So what did Rand and company do today? They changed their brand. is now

SEOmoz announced today that they are changing their name to Moz. This is an interesting move because there are already two existing brands that prominently use Moz in their names. Mozilla is the community that created the FireFox browser, the Thunderbird email client and the Bugzilla bug tracking software. Mozilla is the evolution of the original Netscape Internet browser, so they are a well established brand. The Open Directory Project, one of the oldest and largest directories on the Internet, is also known as dmoz (again, originating from Mozilla). So now we have dmoz, Mozilla and Moz, will this create brand confusion?

Is Changing Brands a Good Idea

Changing brands is a dicey prospect at best. Most of us are working hard just to build a brand, but when you get to the level where SEOmoz is you have a little more leeway to change up your brand. The question in my mind is why did SEOmoz drop the SEO portion of their name? Is Search Engine Optimization no longer a term they want to be associated with? According to Rand on their official Moz blog these are exactly the reasons they are changing. “For many folks outside of our community, the acronym SEO has (unfair) associations with spam or manipulation.” SEOMoz hasn’t change directions, but want their brand to more accurately reflect the full range of marketing tools that they offer, many of which aren’t strictly SEO related.

So Should I Change My Brand?

If SEOMoz has changed their brand, should you change yours as well? Probably not. SEOMoz is a large, established, successful brand. They have the foundations that allow them to make a well thought out adjustment to their naming and positioning. Many small business owners get more caught up in the novelty of changing their name or website or logo on a regular basis than they do in actually building their brand to be a force in their community.

At e-Marketing Partner we help you establish and improve your current brand. Unless your branding is completely ineffective you are better off investing in reputation management and brand building around your current public face than you are in making wholesale changes.

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