When Lindsay Sims, founder of Maison Soleil, a fashion boutique based in Washington, DC, began the process of getting her LLC set up January 2020, she realized it would be the perfect opportunity to rebrand her business name from JolieSoleil Boutique to Maison Soleil. She wanted a business name that was easier to pronounce and recognize. “Maison is used so often in the business world and so it was easier than saying JolieSoleil Boutique (a mouthful),” says Sims. She wanted a name that she could use across all digital media, but she initially ran into a roadblock since the domain name was taken. Later, when she noticed the domain name was on the market, she decided to purchase it.
Sims used Legal Zoom to do the incorporation paperwork and then changed the domain for her website. Then she realized she needed a new logo.
“Our current logo was something I used from Vistaprint and I didn’t want anyone to have the same design,” Sims shares. “We used 99Designs, a website where graphic designers compete to win a commissioned design portfolio.” She used a Facebook group page to help her narrow her six choices to the final two.
“I was torn between the final two, but the logo we chose ended up being more commercially appealing,” she says.
For those considering a re-brand, Sims shares her top five tips:
1. Don’t Be Scared
“If your customers liked you before, they’re going to love you after,” she says. “A name can change your focus as a business and help them understand your vision even better than before.”
Sims used Google, Legal Zoom, 99Designs and her Facebook group as part of her process. “You don’t have to do everything all by yourself,” she reminds us.
There are tons of resources out there to help you succeed.
3. Think Long-Term
“If you left your business today (death or otherwise), would your business be able to stand on its own? This is what you want in a brand,” she says, noting that a brand should be able to speak for itself.
“If I had not chosen my current logo, I think I would have gotten constant questions about what my logo actually is,” she adds. “It wouldn’t be as clear as the one I have now. If I hadn’t changed the name, I would have gotten constant questions about spelling or pronunciation. Also, I didn’t really have any reason or meaning behind the name at first. Now, I know what my business stands for and exactly what it will mean to others who visit my store.”
If you left your business today (death or otherwise), would your business be able to stand on its own?
4. Announce It
While you’d like to think your business is on top of everyone’s mind, the truth is, it’s not. So you need to shout your updates often and consistently. “I decided to make the process part of my social media campaign, asking for opinions on the logo on Instagram stories,” says Sims. “When we finalized the logo and the name, we made an announcement on Facebook and Instagram simultaneously. We also emailed our subscribers to let them know as well.” This tactic is smart because it also engages with your customers and allows them to feel like they’re part of the process, too.
5. Make a New Page
Sims had a hard time changing their business name on their Facebook page, so she decided to create a new one. While this might be harder with more established businesses, Sims felt it was easier for her than to go on the downward spiral that can be trying to contact Facebook. “It may mean losing some followers, but the true ones will always follow to the new page,” she says. “If they don’t, then they know where your website is and where to find your shop.” She did leave the last post on her former Facebook page announcing the change in name so customers can find her new location.
Sims has no regrets with her rebranding and loves how her new brand has pulled together her business. She only wishes she would have done it sooner.
“I wish I had thought to create my LLC and rebrand and create a unique logo earlier on in the game,” she admits. While she’s only been in business for two years, she felt doing this sooner would have been better. “Less confusion for everyone,” she says.