Recently, I was sitting in a Bloomberg TV studio in New York City doing a live interview about the unprecedented growth of our company and our successful private equity journey. Talk about “having fun in the process,” this was a national stage to shine the spotlight on an incredible track record for our growing service brands which, by the way, mentioned our strong Code of Values as a constant roadmap along the way. (You can watch it HERE.)
Meanwhile, back at company headquarters, our amazing leadership team was announcing the biggest news in our company’s history to our headquarters staff: After 37 years in business, we were about to change our name. Dwyer Group would now be known as Neighborly. And in a few short days, we would roll that out to everyone at our biggest company reunion ever and then to the general public.
What’s in a name?
I desperately wanted to be in Waco at headquarters to share the news. But I was already committed to telling this other story to the public at-large. And the more I thought about it, these events were so closely connected. Without our amazing private equity journey, who could have foreshadowed this unprecedented growth and the evolution of this even bigger identity?
Today our organization includes 21 service brands, almost 3,500 franchisees and $1.8 billion in annual system-wide sales. The idea to grow and support franchise brands across the service trades all serving the same customer base is now a huge reality. And an overarching platform to maximize those brands with our end-user customers could and should be put in place. That happened last year with the launch of Neighborly. And the results were amazing. A record number of existing customers — some 39 percent and growing — have now used more than one of our service brands. And today the same consumer-facing brand that united our service brands in a test across US and Canada last year resulting in fantastic success would now be our company name as well. Our Chief Operating Officer Mary Thompson did a wonderful job sharing this news in this FOX 44 story.
A growing family embraces many names
It’s funny how life hands us lessons. But this name change became incredibly personal and special to me all at once. As I watched Dwyer Group evolve into Neighborly, I was instantly reminded of my daughter Dani’s recent wedding. For 27 years, I knew my daughter as Dani Owens. But seven months ago she took the name of the man she loves. And today she is happily known as Dani Harris. I have to admit it took some getting used to, but I immediately welcomed my new son-in-law and embraced our growing family. And now, Dani is five months pregnant, and my husband and I are about to become grandparents for the very first time!
And still, through all of this change, I am reminded that Dani will never lose the very DNA that makes her so special. And, likewise, our Neighborly brands will never lose the strong Code of Values that make them so special. So, as I reflect on new names and growing families, I have sweet memories of where these journeys with family and with business all began. And I also have incredible excitement for the road ahead. Let’s get Neighborly!