Rebranding businesses is what my job has been for the past decade. It’s what I’ve learned inside out and I have worked with well over 700+ businesses. However, I found great difficulty in getting it right for my own business and have never been satisfied with my branding (until now).
Back in 2011, I decided to register the name Custom Logo Shop to start my small graphic design business. It has served me well, but has been detrimental to my creativity in branding and marketing my own business.
It was a generic name that was inspired by my first clients business, The Whirlpool Bath Shop. I was 14 at the time and I had just completed my first logo by teaching myself how to do so via YouTube and various internet guides. I was eager to start so I threw a name together and then I got to work on hundreds of logos in years to come.
However, around 5 years in I began to think bigger, offer more services and understand branding a lot more than I did initially. This is where I got stuck. Custom Logo Shop felt like a name that was a bit too small and uninspired. It was generic and my branding reflected that in both design and copy.
Attempting to rebrand my business
It’s a daunting task to rebrand your own business, one that was much tougher than I ever thought it would be. After all, it is my expertise! However, I found that I completely lacked any inspiration. How? It is my full time job after all. Every attempt I had made was uninspired and lacked any clear direction.
It’s strange how difficult it is doing it for yourself. I think it comes down to fear of change and not having the ability to think outside the box you’re trapped in working inside your own business.
An outside perspective and a conversation with a client about their struggles and feelings towards their own branding usually unleashes a flood of inspiration. But being stuck inside my own business, I felt very uninspired when planning my own rebrand.
This resulted in multiple brand identity attempts that I have included below. You can see a complete lack of direction here which resulted in the same brand, slightly different identity (which didn’t change a thing).
Rebranding without a clear vision
After my failed rebrand attempts, I decided to look deeper into why my rebrands were not working. Every time I had a new brand identity, there was a lack of direction behind it. This is where I was going wrong.
I had made a mistake that I’ve seen countless businesses make with rebranding. The best and most successful rebrands are the ones with a clear direction and a brand that stands for something. I realised that my own business lacked this and was the reason for feeling uninspired.
From that moment, I got a pen and paper and wrote down everything I wanted my business to stand for and what direction I wanted it to go. I needed a clear plan.
Having courage to rename
With a set of values and what I wanted my brand to become, I decided that we will become a branding and website agency that takes businesses to the next destination. This is essentially what the purpose of branding is. It’s for businesses that want change and want to move forward in the right direction.
Whether it’s to target a particular audience, move into a new market or to offer new products or services – branding is designed to take them there. It’s our job to work with a client to push their brand into that direction.
I then thought of words to describe a journey from one point to another. Voyage!
Voyage Branding was now the name that tied my brand vision and values together. It was the start of a new long overdue era.
Unlocking creativity & inspiration
With a new name and brand planned out, I had an unlimited amount of ideas. It was very exciting and gave me inspiration I hadn’t had in years for my business. The floodgates of inspiration had come crashing down and I was ready to set sail with my new brand.
With my previous rebrands, I had never changed the name. This time my ambitions were much greater. I had so many ideas on how I could stand out visually that tied in with the overall theme, that I got to work on some ideas immediately.
Not only visually, but I also had a lot of fun with the copy. I could use words that played on the idea of a nautical theme and everything started to click. There were a vast amount of words I could use that had positive connotations that reinforced my brand message.
e.g sail to success, right direction, raise your brand, discovery…
I also knew my competitors lacked personality and a solid brand (perhaps they had the same issues I had) so I felt I had a new competitive advantage in terms of positioning.
Moving my business forward
Designing Voyage Branding with a new identity, website, services and vision was very enjoyable. It felt a lot more natural compared to previous rebrands and felt like a turning point for my business.
I knew clients would love it as it felt like it represented everything that we try to achieve together. Moving forward is what all businesses want to do and we’re there to go on that journey together.
Since the launch of the rebrand, the reception has been incredible. I’m always getting comments on the website due to it’s design and they love the overall theme. It has increased my inbound enquiries and brought a lot more interest to my business overall.
It has also allowed me to feel confident with my marketing efforts. There’s now a spark of creativity every time I push my business out there, whether that’s writing social media posts, writing about services or posting ads.
It truly has been a turning point in my business since I launched the rebrand in January.
I feel my business is now moving forward in the right direction with my new brand supporting my vision and goals.
Voyage Branding is now sailing the seas to success.
There are a lot of lessons I have learned during the process so I’ve added some key takeaways so you don’t make the same mistakes I did with my previous rebrand attempts.
- Clearly define your brand before starting your rebrand
- Don’t be afraid to change your name if it’s holding your brand back
- Get outside help, it’s difficult to be inspired from inside your business
- Be courageous when rebranding – you want to stand out and be different.
- Start now – I wish I had done this earlier