So a friend has come up with a business domain name that is superior to her former one which she has used for over a year. Would it be preferable for her to totally rename the business & replace the old domain name/URL with the new one? Or should she just put out ads using both domains & have the new one forward people to the original one?
Make the re-branding complete. You don’t want to confuse people about your corporate identity. (“You” used in the general sense). I would recommend a landing page that announces the new brand with a timed auto-forward. “We’ve re-launched our online store as X, you will be redirected to our new, extra-better site, www .NewName.com, in 10 seconds…”
That way you can be totally sure that people know that the store X and store ABC, that they’ve happily done business before, are one and the same.
But feel free to implement a changeover plan. A major sports retailer here had a lot of ads announcing their switch from “Coast Mountain Sports” to “Atmosphere”, so for awhile all their ads had both identities saying something like “Have you heard? We’re re-braning! Our new name is going to be…”
ETA: Whoa! What’s with the board auto-inserting a real URL to my bogus example?
Oh, whaddaya know! The store I mentioned still has their old URL doing just what I suggested.
Go to Coast Mountain, they’ve got their site ghosted with a “We are now ‘Atmosphere’” and it will forward you to the new site.
And I agree with you that that is precisely the best way to do it. You do not want to just redirect straight, as people like me will just continue to use the old URL, thus negating the advantage of rebranding.
Then again, I still use Shift-Delete for Cut and Shift-Insert for paste from the old DOS days.