How to Rename Your Business
So this messy renaming business. Where do you start?
First of all, be clear on WHY you’re renaming. Picking a new name will not solve every problem, but if you’re having some of the same struggles I mentioned in the last post, it’s probably time.
Once you’ve established the “why," decide what you want the new name to convey. You can’t say everything in one tiny name, so boil it down to the one “big idea.” I begin my client process with an in-depth discovery questionnaire, and I wanted to walk myself through the exact same process. So, yes, I answered my own questionnaire! I also began working with my copywriter and answered her questionnaire. These answers helped me pin down my dreams and goals for this new venture while keeping the struggles and dreams of my clients at the forefront.
Remember, your Brand is the overall emotions or impressions that your audience has when they interact with you and your business.
I wholeheartedly believe that those emotions and impressions begin with your name. So what are the emotions I want to convey? What do I want my clients to feel?
Delight, Expertise, Collaboration, Transparency, Reassurance.
Even before the name was settled, I began building the Brand Brief, the guiding document that grounds the entire branding process. You can see the four pages pinned to my bulletin board in the image above. They’ve stayed front and center over these past couple weeks.
I also devoured a tiny, humorous book called Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names that Stick by Alexandra Watkins. She explains 5 qualities you WANT in a name and the 7 deadly SINS to avoid. At the risk of copyright infringement I won’t go into the details, but, in short, your name is an important part of your brand that captures the emotion, meaning, and imagery of WHY you do what you do. So I took my Brand Brief, the pages of writing I already had, and a fresh legal pad, and I began writing even more pages.
How did this help? It allowed me to get even clearer on what I want to communicate. I started down a path of "serious and professional," but what I really want my clients to know is that this is a fun process, with lots of happy dances along the way. I want my brand to capture that sense of lightness, joy, and support. I think humor goes a lot further than buttoned-up professionalism does. And I don't wear things that button up anyway. Just sayin’.
While Watkins’ book did generate several names, it didn’t give me THE name. Here are the ones from the cutting room floor, the ones that didn’t pass the “awesome test”. I told you I’d be transparent!
- ENLYFTED - Too complicated and hard to pronounce. I like the idea of making up a new word, but it was just too convoluted.
- UPLYFT - Looks like a typo. While simpler than option #1, I didn’t want to spell my company name every time I say it. And spelling your name “creatively" just to differentiate it in the marketplace is just plain lazy. Names like “Uplift,” “Lifted,” “Elevate,” and "Boost” were all overused in the design industry, and I wanted something different. No weird spelling required.
- NOT JUST A PRETTY LOGO - I loved this at first, but it was too limited. It had no “legs,” meaning it didn’t conjure up visuals or imagery or lend itself to expansion in the future other than perhaps beauty salon ideas, which doesn’t resonate with me or many of my clients.
So at this point, I was getting concerned by all my pages of work with no name in sight. I met again with my copywriter, and it was through our conversation that the name was born. As we talked, she asked me what I want my clients to feel like at the end of our time together. Without hesitation, I told her I want them to feel like the sky’s the limit, like they have everything they need – externally and internally – and they’re ready to fly. I think there were big, waving hand motions involved too. And my eyes lit up, and I jotted those phrases in the margin of my notes. Within two hours, the name was decided.
So what is it, you ask?
Let Her Fly.
No “design” or “branding studio” at the end. Short and sweet. Let Her Fly.
Here’s the Brand Story, written with all the mad skills of my expert copywriter because words and I have “issues."
Let Her Fly – Brand Story
"Remember running your heart out to get your first kite to take flight and then experiencing sheer delight and pride when it finally broke gravity’s hold and lifted high into the sky?
Just like with that kite, I know you’ve been running your heart out building your amazing business, waiting expectantly for it to lift off.
Well hold on, Lady, because you’re about to experience heart-soaring, happy-dancing (or puppy-wiggling, if you’re that type) delight in a brand you absolutely love and that feels just like you.
I’m your Brand Designer & Strategist, Michelle. If you’re ready to step out of the shadows, do big things, and take your business to the next level, I’ll give you the gravity-busting confidence that comes from a one-of-a-kind brand identity so you can take your business higher than you ever imagined.
No running needed. Just sit back and Let Her Fly.”
So if this speaks to you, you're in the right place and oh so welcome here! Please know that I’m not being flippant when I say I understand how you’re feeling. I know the frustration and insecurity that sets in when the brand image you’re putting out there is holding you back, and your dreams and goals have become bigger than they were when you started. This Brand Story is only a small part of what I read last week that made my heart fluttery and my eyes teary.
It’s everything I hoped for, and more.
It’s everything I hope for YOU, and so very much more.
Welcome to Let Her Fly!
P.S. Technical things to check when choosing a new name
Before choosing a final name, always be sure to check domain and social media name availability. But don’t let that completely sideline the process if you can’t get the exact name. Adding another word (like “we” to “letherfly") can still work. Alternate endings like .biz, .us, or .ca are also acceptable. Google searches rely on much more than your URL to find you, so don’t worry about it. My favorite domain search tool is NameCheap.
And don’t forget to check for trademark availability, even if you don’t plan on trademarking yet. If the name you’re considering is already taken in your industry, you should reconsider to avoid a headache (or hefty fines) in the future. You can do a preliminary quick search in Canada here and in the USA here.