In the past two years, I have shared with so many people the process I used for rebranding Mommy Snacks to what is now known as Savings Lifestyle. While the process that was most important was the technical (like changing a site name without losing the google juice or adsense cpm) the How and Discovery pieces were even more crucial to the long term strategy.
Rebranding was more than a site name change, it was changing how others connect with you. It’s a huge risk and is something I didn’t take lightly.
Remember when Gap changed their logo? Do you remember the outrage by customers? Changing their logo was a rebrand. They were still Gap, still offered the same products and service but the brand identity customers had come to connect with was gone. Even I lost my “warm and fuzzy” over my 1969 distressed jeans.
With blogging, this can be just as disastrous since we are dealing with our reader’s emotional attachment to the brand they have come to know for a long time.
As you consider rebranding, ask yourself these questions:
- Can I continue with my brand as it is today and achieve the same goals?
- How does rebranding help me to achieve my long term strategy?
- Are you willing to risk everything you have built to achieve your vision?
- Are you willing to lose advertising revenue and PR connections?
Rebranding Discovery Process
There is way more into rebranding then slapping on a new logo, site name and hitting publish again. The Discovery Process is crucial to ensure the plans are in place for success. So many ideal site names are taken thanks to squatters and domain hoarders (cough, including me, cough) but there are still many gems in the rough. However, they won’t slap you in the face saying “I am an amazing domain. Buy me now with that GoDaddy coupon code.”
Here are a few steps to take during this process with regards to the new site name.
Make a list of the keywords that co-inside with your vision. For me it was expressing how the site had evolved over the years. I wanted to translate that coupons weren’t a one-time project we undertake and that saving money was a lifestyle. While those keywords jump out at me now, they did NOT at the time.
Dissect the keywords on your list. The ideas I had for domains, I broke apart the words in each. I figured maybe I could find an interesting spin-off for the domain with similar words while still expressing the meaning of the name. The BEST resource to use for this part of the process is Thesaurus.com. Enter the key words and look for synonyms. Make a list of all of those similar key words.
I used Evernote to do this since I could easily jot down new ideas wherever I was (love the app for my iPhone).
As I was coming up with ideas for domains that were actually available, I had a bouncer. No, not someone who got rough with GoDaddy so I could buy the domain. Someone who I could bounce the ideas off of that I trusted wouldn’t go snatch it up or share it with anyone. That was Erin in case you’re wondering. If anyone gets a hold of her phone, they will see all of the ideas in our texts back and forth.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the SEO components. While I did NOT choose my name for SEO value, it is something to consider. I just Googled the key words “savings lifestyle” and looked to see who was coming up in that search. I also didn’t want some risque stuff in the search results to associate my new brand with.
The next article will talk about Social Media steps and impacts on rebranding.