You've probably noticed a few changes going on with our brand across social media. Recently we took the bold (& slightly crazy) decision to re-brand our little business from 'Muklet' to 'The Letterman Co'. And we decided to did it right before our busiest time of year - the Holiday season!
When we moved our family from London to California just over a year ago, I was intent on re-starting my small business 'on the other side of the pond'. You'll remember if you read my blog regularly that it wasn't the easiest of endeavors, one that had it's fair share of road blocks, bumps, and mountains of paperwork! You can read that post here.
From the moment we landed I threw myself into researching re-launching a small business in California. I set about figuring out the logistics, the opportunities, and the potential market. I used some of the same resources I had discovered in the U.K. (where I had launched Muklet in June 2015). They included finding fellow small business owners to network with, seeking advice from the S.B.A , and attending local markets to sell my products. These markets in particular provided an ideal opportunity to locally market myself, and also gain valuable feedback on my products and the brand.
I confess I do a bit of 'ear-wigging' (that's 'listening in' to my American pals!), when people come to stall at a market. I soon discovered that customers on 'this side of the pond', gravitated towards the Personalized Varsity Jackets, calling them 'Little Letterman' jackets.
Secondly I realized that whereas the brand name 'Muklet' had worked well in the U.K (it was inspired by my 2 boys, who are to me my little 'cheeky grubby Muklets'!), it didn't really translate over here in the States. It was difficult for people to say, and the name wasn't memorable or synonymous with what the brand was becoming renowned for, namely my Little Letterman™ Varsity Jackets.
So, will this new found knowledge I decided my next port of call was to use another powerful resource, my bank of opinionated friends on Facebook! Early on I sent out a questionnaire to gain feedback into new products I was looking to launch. I also asked what people thought about changing the brand name from 'Muklet' to 'Little Letterman'. Well, as usual, the feedback was forthcoming, and...inconclusive! My friends were split over whether I should change the name. So, in order to make life a little easier and get my little American business up and running, I decided to keep the name.
But, over time it bothered me. I firstly looked into whether 'Little Letterman' had been used by another company. It was fast becoming my most successful product, and I wanted to embrace that. It turned out, that no, no-one had used the name, so, deep breath, I decided to take a chance (I've had a few of those leaps of faith over the past couple of years!), and I applied to trademark 'Little Letterman'.
The months passed, and after much paperwork, and climbing over those 'bumps in the road', I got Muklet off the ground and up and running again. But, still the brand name bothered me. Was 'Little Letterman' the right brand name to use? For now I was using it as the name for the collection of clothing and homewares that I had customized with personalized Varsity Letters. Was it a strong enough brand name to carry the whole business? Would it limit me to what I might be able to design and sell in the future?
It wasn't until I started working on my new branding with my talented friend Maria who owns We Brand Rebels, (a branding agency that works specifically with creative businesses and entrepreneurs to 'tell their story'), that I came up with the new brand name. The online retail and social media world is now heavily saturated with new brands and bloggers. It is getting harder and harder to be seen and heard, and even more difficult to find a good brand name that is available across all the platforms. It was whilst I was playing with different versions of 'Letterman' that I hit upon The Letterman Co.
Once Maria had worked her magic on the branding package, and I saw how it translated visually, I knew I had the right brand name. Changing the name to 'The Letterman Co' allowed me to become more instantly recognizable for the successful products I had become known for, namely the Little Letterman™ personalized Varsity Jackets, and also gave me scope to expand into other products and opportunities in the future.
Announcing the new brand name, has been a little bit of backwards process. In order to secure the domains and social media handles I had to jump on them whilst they were still available! But, even without making the official announcement, I saw a positive response overnight, and I knew I'd made the right decision.
The very next day after changing the brand name from Muklet to The Letterman Co I awoke to find a new order, then another, and another! People who had never heard of 'The Letterman Co' had found me! Through Google searches, Etsy browsing, friend recommendations, or any other manner of route to my website, I had been found! And, I guess they understood what I did, and better yet, they decided to buy something whilst they were there!
So, I do hope you like the new brand name?! It's the first of many new ideas to come, changing the name is only the start of it...
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