There always seems to be plenty of information and advice available to those adventuresome entrepreneurs starting a small business: the steps to take, pitfalls to avoid and best practices to start off on the right foot. What about an instance when you’ve already started your business and want to rebrand? You hear about this process far less and yet there are many reasons why you may want to refresh your current brand, identity and logo. As society grows, changes and evolves so do its people and their businesses. Rebranding an operating business can seem like a daunting effort; however, the process can be a tremendous marketing opportunity that will strengthen your position among photography peers, professional partners and clients.
I started my first photography business, aptly titled Don Mamone Photography, in 2007. Much like many photographers, I stared off slowly, worked diligently and was fortunate to witness my business grow modestly but steadily. Little did I know then that I would meet and marry my wife Emily, a model and photographer, and that we would begin working together as a husband and wife team. Rather quickly, the business name and identity that had seemed so appropriate when I began no longer made much sense.
Admittedly, the concept of a brand can be somewhat obscure. It can be defined differently by different people and depending on that definition, is surprisingly subjective. To us, our brand was the answer to questions like: Who are we? What do we do? How do we do that? Where do we do that? Who do we do that for…and so on. As the answers to more and more of those questions changed, we thought it may be time to rebrand.
Emily and I shared concerns that although a rebranding would allow our brand to better represent our business, the process would jeopardize the status, recognition and market share we had earned under our existing identity. Maybe it was better to just stay the course? We weighed the pros and cons of both scenarios and decided, in the long run, it would be far better to rebrand. The journey was not an easy one; however, having just celebrated the first anniversary of our newly branded business, we are certain that we made the right choice and are excited to share our journey with you.
What’s in a Name?
This first step was both a strategic and logistical decisions of some magnitude. We knew this was going to be quite a process so making sure we chose a name that would well represent our new brand was critical. We thought we had a name that would be just perfect all picked out; however, we decided to walk down a long and winding path to see if there was a better name out there that we had not thought of yet. After a good deal of brainstorming we eventually confirmed that our initial thoughts were right on target and could continue safe in the knowledge that we challenged our idea and it won. Although we were certainly excited to come to a decision on our new name, The Mamones, we decided to slow our roll once more and engage a small sampling of family, friends, trusted professional partners, and previous clients to bounce the final idea off them to ensure that groupthink had not taken over the process. Whew, we were all good. Our focus group replied with rave reviews. Check and Check.
Logo – A small word with a big meaning
If it is time for a new brand it is most likely time for a new logo. Another process that we expected to be a considerable creative effort. A logo is an icon that will represent your business and, once established, will cause viewers to think of your company and by extension the brand that you have worked so hard to define. No pressure, right? The process of designing a logo will be different for each and every business so we only have this advice to offer: Interview a handful of professional graphic design artists based on their portfolio and choose one that you get along with the best and have the most confidence in. Expect that this will be an iterative process that may take more time than you may anticipate but know that it is totally worth the time and the money. This is not something you want to do cheap or fast. Just ask Apple, Mercedes or Nike.
Be the Proverbial Duck
Emily and I wanted to celebrate these monumental strategic decisions. We had a new name and were working on a new logo to represent our new brand. Unfortunately, there was no time to rest on our laurels. We had an aggressive list of logistical chores that needed to get done and we needed to get started on them yesterday. We felt everything needed to be brand new (pardon the pun). Time for new business and marketing plans. Our on-line presence needed to be rebuilt: new domain registration, website build, social media accounts, email addresses and so on. Marketing materials were ready for a complete redesign. We saw this as an opportunity to build an entirely new business with one very critical consideration; we needed to make sure existing professional partners and clients knew what we were up to, get them excited about it and ensure their continued support and loyalty to our new brand. So, as we worked on these logistical tasks that we were more familiar with; we also began to consider how handle this additional strategic effort that we were not at all familiar with. Read about how we accomplished this in our next installment…
About The Mamones
The Mamones are a Texas based husband and wife photography team specializing in wedding, event and boudoir photography from Dallas to destinations around the world. Known for their elegant and natural story-telling style, Don and Emily began photographing weddings together in 2007 with a focus on creating timeless art and a devotion to the couple’s experience. Originally a director of events for nearly a decade, Don also has a love for photographing in the corporate arena. Similarly, Emily’s tenure as a model encouraged her to create unique boudoir experiences to find and capture each of her female client’s natural beauty. For Ballroom, Boardroom and Bedroom visual inspiration visit The Mamones on FACEBOOK, TWITTER and PINTEREST.