If you've been following along my small business journey, you know I completely changed my business name and branding in late August. It wasn't a total shift in my business products or operations, just the name. I go into great detail on WHY I felt pulled to changed my business name in a blog post, here, but basically- It didn't seem to align with my business as it had evolved since I started it.
After almost 3 years in operation I had a nagging thought that I wanted to change my business name. The problem was- I was just starting to get traction and recognition in my area and my products were being placed in tons of shops nation-wide and I was scared changing my business name would be a step backwards in that progress. Spoiler alert- I changed my business name because I knew it needed to be done and I figured it would only be a bigger step back the longer I waited. But that wasn't an easy decision to come to. I made a complete pros and cons list and I wanted to share that with you and share how each point impacted be once I actually changed my business name.
I'll start with the cons because they are what came to my mind first. Mostly, it was a huge time and financial commitment. My friend (Shaun, an amazingly talented graphic designer) spent weeks working on a new website, retail packaging, paper material, branding graphics, and more. We estimate it was over 100 hours of work for him to complete it, including two full days (9AM - 10PM) of us working on it in my office. I had to spend a lot of time working out the legal logistics of registering for a new LLC/EIN, bank account, post office box, and contacting all of the places I sell and had existing business relationships with. Financially, I had to pay for the new LLC, PO box, business cards, website redesign, domain name, and other miscellaneous branding materials.
I also had a lot of anxiety around contacting other businesses that I already have an established relationship with. I was worried it would require a time commitment from shops I sell consignment in and that it would be a burden for them. Luckily, I work with incredibly understanding business owners who were just as excited as I was about the rebrand. I'll share I did take a few extra steps to make the change as easy for them as possible. I offered to repackage and label all of my products in their store whenever it was most convenient for them.
One of my biggest retailers isn't local and so we waited for stuff that had Blossom Art Avenue retail packaging to sell before we started selling items with Clay Collection Co. branding. I also offered to sign new contracts under the new business name (nobody actually took me up on that) and I reiterated that there was no rush for them to change my business name in their systems and that I was willing to be as accommodating as possible to make the transition easiest for them. If you're curious about wholesale sites like Abound & Faire- they were both super easy to change the name on and just required me reaching out to their support team who was able to change anything on the back end that I wasn't able to in my account settings.
Those were really the biggest cons and I have found the pros have outweighed them astronomically.
I feel SO aligned with my brand, my website, and how I appear online and in person. That makes me so much
more confident in myself (and my business) and has motivated me to create so many more products. Something that this rebrand did for me, was accurately define what my business was and what I sold. This may not be the case for everyone, but before this rebrand and I wasn't totally sure on how to explain my business and I didn't have any defining characteristics I used to decide what to sell or make. Now it is crystal clear what I sell and what my customers can expect from me, therefore making it easier on me to create new products and designs.
So far I haven't experienced any negative feedback since the rebrand. I've actually experienced a lot of growth on social media now that my branding matches my products. I haven't seen a decrease in sales (wholesale, consignment, or on my own site) and I've gotten a lot of praise from other small business owners and my customers.
Even though it was an incredibly positive experience for me, I want to reiterate that rebranding (and especially changing your business name) isn't something that should be taken lightly. But if you've put thought, your heart, and intention into it- I would recommend it. Make sure you consider the longevity of your brand and your business when making big changes and make sure it's something you can see sticking around for the long term. I imagine if you're constantly changing your business name it would get incredibly confusing for your customers, for old customers to find and recommend you, and for new customers who just started following your journey. There are branding experts available to help you make sure you're making the right decision and that the time and financial investment is a smart investment to make, and I highly recommend reaching out to one if you're considering it. Shaun Michael Chapman brought my rebrand idea to life, and I couldn't have done it without him.