Rebranding - why do it and what is best practice?

I have been summoning up the courage to rebrand for years. I almost did it once about 4 years ago. It's got to the stage where I just have to do it. For me, it's because Moobaacluck sounds like a children's brand.. which is exactly how it started. It's more of a family brand now though and I want it to be far artier. I know I am someone who wants to run a lifestyle business rather than a large operation, one that can support me and my family - something that gives my joy to work on and I feel gives me room to adapt and change.

(an unfinished painting..very much a work in progress)

I shall be calling my business Ink.Paint.Paper - which will be familiar to friends that heard talk about this in 2012-13! But I really feel now is the time. It will fit so much better with the painting, illustrating and pattern making I want to do in the future. Gradually over time I will discontinue the wooden pieces. So if there's something you've had your eye on pop over to for a look. Most things there will be around for several months yet.

Some reasons to rebrand if you're a big company would be the vision of a new leader, a merger with another company and changes in customer behavior. But if you are a solo business owner doing it all yourself? All these reasons can apply - even the merger! For example you may have ambitions to produce a different look or looks that simply don't fit with your current brand name. That's the case with me; I don't know yet whether I will retain Moobaacluck as a brand imprint on some things, that's a difficult decision, in the medium term I will definitely do so. Perhaps you may need an umbrella brand to 'merge' your ideas. Adapting is the key and acknowledging what doesn't work for you. 

If you run your business completely alone as I do then probably your core values will still be the same but it needs a lot of thinking about. Someone who I've worked with in the past and is a great person to turn to on these matters in Fiona Humberstone - The Brand Stylist. I have her first book and I am tempted to buy the second one which goes into more depth about what to consider when you are initially branding your business and then how to maintain and adapt over time. I haven't seen the book, I just read about it last night on Fiona's blog. There are lots of tips on her site; I recommend taking a look if you haven't already.

At this point, I can only talk about what I think is best practice when rebranding. Don't do it in a big rush on a whim, but do listen to your gut instinct, if you are feeling hemmed in most of the time or find yourself going backwards and forwards over this for a LONG time then there's probably a reason for that. You should make some change. It might not be the name that's the problem; it could be style, it could be how you communicate, or don't, with your customers. 

Branding isn't about the logo. It's your tone of voice, whether you write notes to customers or not, whether you're an aloof aspirational brand or a matey, down to earth direct communicator or somewhere in between. It's your words in writing, what you absolutely wouldn't do or say as much as you would. It's your returns policy, your packaging, your ethos, what motivates you, how you think customers should and shouldn't be treated, and how you think you should be treated by them! And that elusive something that only you have.

In my case the logo is going to have to be the first thing that to change because I'll be using a new overarching name but not until I have some of the new product ranges ready and a clear written brief for myself. I'm going to have to be a firm boss to myself. I'm an artist first and foremost but I'm not ruling out boutique wholesale ranges! We will see. I won't ever be doing wholesale wooden items.

The hardest decision I will have to make is, do I change all my current Moobaacluck social media to Ink.Paint.Paper or set up new accounts entirely? Maybe you can help me with that choice; what would you do?


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