Pop the champagne! I've recently rebranded my business and wanted to take you through my journey and give you a few of my rebranding tips.
It's All In The Name: Your name is the most important part of your brand! Have you ever seen "That Thing You Do?" Remember when they named their band "The One-ders" and no one knew how to pronounce it? Don't make that mistake!
- Don't pick something hard to pronounce or spell. When I started my creative business way back when (like, when I was 22), I named it "bibo designs." I thought it was cute, and that incorporating my initials would be a fun way to brand myself. Well, no one knew how to pronounce it. People didn't understand my artsy, intentional lowercase idea and would write it as BIBO designs. A snarky jerk of a relative called it "Bimbo Designs." Don't pick a name that's too unique or creative, because you'll be explaining the meaning/pronunciation to everyone you meet.
- Think about using your own name - but make sure there are no famous (or infamous) people with that name already.
- If you don't use your own name, pick a name that says something about your industry/niche. Try to think of a name that suits your business and is easily searchable.
- If you're lucky enough, you might be able to snag a really SEO-friendly name. For example, let's say you're a wine touring company in Napa Valley. If you can score the business name "Napa Valley Wine Tours, Inc." and website NapaValleyWineTours.com, you're set! When people google Napa Valley Wine Tours, you'll have amazing SEO potential.
Don't Fall In Love Just Yet: Think of a few options first, and don't fall in love with them just yet. A few months ago when I started the rebranding process, I fell in absolute love with a brand name. I would doodle it and envision the stationary I would create. Then, on a whim, I googled it: a business in the UK, in my same industry, already had that name! Ugh! Back to the drawing board!
Logo/Brand Identity Matter: I once had someone tell me that they had their logo made for $10 by someone in India, and why pay more because their logo was great! Reader: their logo was not great. It was awful. It looked like it cost $10.
It's worth the investment to hire a great creative brand designer to help you crystallize your logo and brand identity. This includes your logo, brand colors, submarks, fonts: all the "pretty" stuff that makes your business look polished and professional. (We're offering creative brand design services starting in January 2017 - click here to be added to our waiting list!)
Think About the Details: If your budget allows, think about adding stickers, stationary, gift bags if you're a product designer, and other branded elements to your branding arsenal. These things really matter to potential clients! Click here to learn about a recent brand design project I did for a customer.
Keep it Legal: It's worth the money to meet with a lawyer and accountant to protect your business. My business is under an LLC, and I have a DBA for my new rebranded business name. My lawyers helped me with the LLC, and my accountant helps me keep my finances in order come tax time. You don't want to worry about someone else filing an LLC or DBA with your business name, and you don't want to get audited and end up owing money to the IRS!