I had a client come to me recently wanting to rebrand his family business. They’re moving into the next phases of the business, where the son is taking over from the father and expanding the business into a range of new services, which is going to be great for the family and great for the son. However, he wants to keep the existing business name, and it got me thinking about what’s in a name.
For most small business owners, despite what we might think, we are our brand and our business. Without the head, there is no business. Take my own business for example. The name, really, is arbitrary – because my clients all know that they work with Emma Wright. I could call the business Monsters Inc and rip off a large movie studio if I wanted, because all anyone ever remembers is that they work with Emma Wright. If I was to die, it would be extremely difficult for anyone to take over my book – because the one thing that another designer or social media manager couldn’t replicate, is me.
Lots of small business owners like to believe that their business or their brand exists beyond them – that it’s a name that gets talked about in circles or that they can sell their business for their retirement (note, I’ve been told lately by these guys that that is a terrible retirement strategy) for a squillion dollars. In most instances, that’s not the case. More often than not, people work with you because they like working with you and without that, they would find another supplier. I suppose really, that’s the difference between small business and medium or large enterprises – those businesses can exist without the head, customers can have relationships with other people within the business and not have any contact with you – and that’s ok.
So back to the issue of brand. While It might be nice to think that your brand will exist long after you do, or that you have a heritage in a particular name, I would suggest that in most cases that’s just not true. A name and a brand is important, it demonstrates to the outside world how you pitch yourself or present yourself – so make sure you choose one that is representative of you, your ideal customer and what you do, not of a heritage that might not have any meaning to your new customers. Whether it’s a business name, a business logo, a look for your business – it should represent who you are and what you do at this phase in your business.
If you’re ready to make a change, ready to create a brand that is representative of where you’re at, I want to help you with that. Get in touch via the contact page and let’s make something amazing.