Rebranding the Business: Our Story, Part 3

by | Jul 18, 2015 | Business Leadership, Events, News

Rebranding: Change is Never Easy

Or more accurately, making the decision to change is never easy.  Once that decision is made, I have found that change takes on its own course and flows. In 2014, after 10 years of doing business as the Survey Sciences Group, LLC, I came to the conclusion that a change was needed (and wrote about that here).  This decision to rebrand had roots in my thinking as far as two or three years prior, but I resisted those ideas, fearful of what such a change would mean.

The reality was that after this much time, even our best research collaborators were routinely mixing up our name.

Student Social Services Group… Social Survey Group… Survey Services Group… Survey Center Services Group… Student Surveys Inc…

Twice during this time, customers got it so wrong that we could not cash their check – our bank being certain that it could not have been meant for us.

Trained as a survey researcher, and not as a branding expert, I learned this lesson on branding the hard way.  As Seth Godin would likely say, we had a dumb and generic brand.  I was too personally tied to the old name, so this was difficult to acknowledge.

Working with NewFoundry in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we began a process of rebranding: we had to uncover our brand character, where we learned we are all-in, authentic, agile, and aligned.  Further, we focused in on a clear purpose (the fundamental reason we are in business):

Our Purpose:  To propel social science forward for the greater good.

With our purpose clear, we found a mission that provides an overall strategy for achieving that purpose:

Our Mission:  Develop and deliver innovative, science-guided survey methodology practices and services to the global community of social science researchers.

It is no secret that we have chosen the name SoundRocket to be our outward expression of our brand – come back in a couple days to learn more about the rebranding process, what other names we considered, and why SoundRocket emerged as the winner!

Currently, the FDA only regulates true direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests, which have no health care provider involved either before or after testing. Consumer-initiated, physician-mediated genetic tests are considered lab developed tests (LDTs), which currently do not require FDA oversight. 


Our Study Design

Our study was designed to simulate the experience of an everyday person who is considering doing a health-related genetic test. For this reason, we only reviewed website contents presented to a consumer before ordering a test. By limiting our data collection to pre-test content, instead of digging around or contacting the companies to fill in missing data points, gaps in public-facing information that consumers use to make ‘informed’ decisions were revealed.  

Also, while a genetic counselor supervised the project, a research assistant (RA) conducted most of the website investigations. The RA was familiar enough with genetics and genetic testing to understand and identify the information presented on the websites, but has not had the clinical exposure that might create bias from knowing how specific tests work “behind-the-scenes”. 


To Sum Up

We set out to understand the landscape of health-related consumer genomics testing from the public perspective. By limiting our research (by design) to public-facing pre-test website content, we could not complete our data collection as set out in the protocol. However, this uncovered an important observation: consumer genomics websites are highly variable in content, readability and ease of use. 

This begs the question, if we can’t find basic test information on a consumer genomics website, how does a consumer have enough information to make an informed choice about testing? 

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series, where we will dig into our study findings and reveal our most interesting observations.  



As experts in FDA user comprehension studies for consumer genomics companies seeking 510(k) clearance, we are interested in how everyday people access and understand health content that is meant for them. If you need help optimizing your consumer-directed health communications, we’ve got the in-house expertise and experience to meet your needs. Let’s chat

About the Author

Scott D. Crawford

Scott D. Crawford is the Founder and Chief Vision Officer at SoundRocket. He is also often found practicing being a husband, father, entrepreneur, forever-learner, survey methodologist, science writer & advocate, and podcast lover. While he doesn’t believe in reincarnation, he’s certain he was a Great Dane (of the canine type) in a previous life.