Over the past few months, we have been planning a re-brand for Onelittlem. *Suspense chord!* I admit, I have considered changing our company name long before now. But we think now is the right time.
Renaming a company is a challenging endeavor.
In the beginning, I came up with Onelittlem because I thought the idea of just little ol’ me creating a bunch of random products was an impressive way to start out. I never considered the longevity of the name itself, perhaps because I wondered if it would really become anything.
The first time I second-guessed my naming decision was when I told an extended family member about my business, and had to repeat the name more than once. That was in 2011 when my business was 2 years old. I’ve had similar conversations since. I’ve wanted badly to change the name, but abandoned the idea for lack of a better solution. The desire to change resurfaced a few times in the last 5 years, but I wasn’t able to come up with a better solution until this year.
For an entrepreneur, a rebrand is like holding an employee review for yourself, which is more difficult than it may seem. This is an important way to look at it too, because I’d bet most company owners aren’t given the opportunity to reflect and review themselves honestly and constructively too often. You really have to remove yourself from everything you’ve accomplished to look at the big picture and assess what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and how you can make improvements wherever necessary. This guides the direction of the changes that need to be made.
NAMING A COMPANY
… is more difficult than naming your child! Seriously, it is.
These were my personal credentials for our re-naming project:
• It has to say a little about me (the owner). A little of my character is represented in all of our products, so the title should also represent my character somehow.
• It should communicate our vision, which is the creation of unique paper products that genuinely represent the person or people for whom they are created. Our products represent a relationship around a piece of paper, always given in love.
• It should communicate what we do without being too abstract.
• It should sound artistic, pretty, and classic without being pretentious or trendy.
HOW TO GET IDEAS
I have spent countless hours on the following approaches to the rename:
• List bad ideas
• List okay ideas
• List totally unrelated ideas to somehow discover a path toward the best idea
• List trendy ideas that include adding “ie” to the end of everything, and probably something with a bird or other animal
• List existing interesting company names in our field
• Pair words using thesaurus.com, dictionary.com, and rhymezone.com
• Manipulate well-known idioms, cliches, and various phrases
• Delve into the music scene and search Spotify for band name, album title, or artist name ideas
• Old school research, in old art history texts to find unique words
• Search lists of “pretty sounding” words
• Search lists of words with useful prefixes I could pair with applicable suffixes, and vice versa
• Peruse existing shop names on Etsy, mostly as examples of what I didn’t like
• Find something we like
• Discover social media or the .com was taken
• Come up with variations for available .coms
• Realize it seemed obvious that we picked our second choice because another domain under basically the same name was already taken
• Give up
• Consider not changing the name
• Finally come up with some I like, and consider them for a week or two
• Give up again
• Come up with sad lists of dumb ideas
• Get feedback from friends on the top 3 choices
It seems like this should be easier! That list of 22 bullet points is what people pay thousands of dollars to ad agencies to do for them, by the way.
Aside from the phonetic issues mentioned, we are a much different company than we were in the beginning. We feel that should be reflected in the name. For small businesses, a company name is practically your first impression for potential customers. But it also should feel unique and enticing, generating interest in the brand.
WHAT WILL CHANGE?
The change will be immediate in some areas and gradual in others.
Initially, our website and social media handles will change names, which will happen simultaneously so we don’t have mixed branding anywhere in the public eye. Social media will be renamed but should exist in the same place so we don’t don’t have to worry about follower migration. Our branded print materials will also be recreated. Since we are linked from many other places on the internet, onelittlem.com will forward to the new site, but essentially will be accessible as it always was.
Eventually, we have plans for gradual changes that take more planning and creative time to launch, like reorganizing the website and many new products which we are very excited about!
The new name will be announced this summer!