With apologies for piling on; I recommend Zen to my customers. Now I have to explain, without any valid reason*, why Zen changed its name. The response I get is “wait, I thought we were with Zen? Did they go broke? Are you running our payroll through a bankrupt company (you idiot)? Who bought them? Are they reliable? Since we’re being forced to change vendors, lets take another look at providers and maybe there is something better now.”
No, I’m not kidding. Yes, Gusto might have been a good name at the beginning, as was ZenPayroll. You have invested in the latter, not the former, and so are forfeiting brand equity for….what?
(*)I’m a finance guy, so my perspective is perhaps less informed than those in brand marketing. Allowing for that, rebranding most often stems from either a fatally flawed brand (think the recent Philip Morris to Altria affair), or the acquisition of a brand with more inherent equity. That Gusto has no equity, this seems really odd, and to ref another poster, seems to indicate a gap in judgement.
I would be interested in understanding why you didn’t launch Gusto as a parent-brand, retaining the current brand and migrating goodwill into the new one? The business press, so far as I can see hasn’t commented on it. Assuming there is a valid reason (and I’m confident there is), I think this would make an interesting case study.