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Renaming Business - Soliciting opinions on direction.

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Todd-sta, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Todd-sta

    Todd-sta Member

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    Hi everyone.

    I thought it would be a great idea to tap into the mass talent on this site and get several opinions on a business name change.

    As of now, my business name is 'Outside The Lines.' This is a somewhat generic name, which, in essence is what I am after...... except I want to change it to something which evokes a more positive, dynamic visual. Something that makes prospective clients feel like they are taking a step forward, and elevating themselves by doing business with me.

    Thus, my initial thought is something along the lines of "Launch Creative." Except I am not too sure about the word 'creative.' I am thinking of some form of a stylized image of a rocket into the logo - hopefully, in a way that does not come off as 'korny.' But wanting to reinforce the name 'Launch' and the thought of 'joining a bold, passionate adventure. '

    I realize that the first question will be: "What does your business do/offer?"

    Well, this is why I want to keep the name non-product related. I offer: Screenprinted T-Shirts/apparel, Signs, Banners, logo design, print materials, etc. A smorgasbord of items - probably not unlike many here.

    I plan to take it online at some near date..... so I don't want 'ex: Todd's Signs' because that boxes me into a particular mind-set among prospective customers. It needs to somewhat universal in nature.

    So.... please feel free to critique, discuss, and suggest. Hoping for input from a constructive and professional perspective.

    I have some initial thoughts from Glenn Taylor, whom I greatly respect - and hope to hear from Dan Antonelli and many more of the professionally minded, good folks that reside here.

    Thanks:thumb: !!
     
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  2. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    +1 Todd's Signs
     
  3. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    In a nutshell, can you really offer up what you're propositioning ??

    A name isn't what sells a business, but your capabilities do/will.

    It takes no time at all for a good reputation to be demolished after one or two bad incidents. If you can handle a full launch of a business from soup to nuts with mailers, radio advertisements, logo creations, jingles, tag lines, bulk mailings and complete advertising campaigns, then maybe the name will fit. Otherwise, stick to what you can do and not what you think you'd like to do.

    As your present names indicates, thinking out side the box or the lines can give you a definite edge, but if someone starts asking for things you can't handle, you'll come off as a fraud and get a bad rap for false advertising.
     
  4. Todd-sta

    Todd-sta Member

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    Good points, Gino.

    What I am thinking, however, is a Biz Name that doesn't limit me in terms of outside perception, while the 'description of my services' is defined, but can be more fluid.....

    Example: If my name was 'Todd's Signs' then people will always associate that name with me only signs. Whereas if I change it to something more inclusive, I will have the flexibility to determine what I sell without issue.

    I have this now with Outside The Lines.... but am thinking I want a more progressive, less abstract name with a 'hint' of artspeak involved.... which is where the 'creative' part of the "Launch Creative" comes into play. But again, I think 'creative' may be overused - much the same as the overuse of the word 'quality' no longer conjures up images of a superior service.

    Hope this makes sense.
     
  5. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I think sometimes you can go too far the other way, using terms like "creative" "unlimited" etc. in your business name usually tells people exactly nothing about what you do.

    I understand not wanting to be limited, but being vague is not the way to do it.
     
  6. Kentucky Wraps

    Kentucky Wraps Kentucky Wraps

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    Nothing with the word X-treme or any derivative thereof please. lol
     
  7. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    your current logo isn't bad looking. "outside the lines" means to me that your coloring is sloppy and doesn't stay within the lines. to me, that isn't a good thing. "outside the box" sounds creative and most know what that means and it might work as it sounds like you think outside the box. "launch creative" means what? I would never think tee-shirt printing, banners or signs. it sounds more like a marketing company which gives off the wrong idea.
     
  8. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Unless you're a wholesale business, most people will almost always by-pass you on many things/products.

    We have customers for a long time..... and one day while picking up a truck, they'll see some banners being made and say.... hey.... when did you start making banners ?? I didn't know that you did that. Next time I'll try to remember you make them. This has happened with so many various product, we know it's not us, but they're inability to comprehend what we do. Most people are narrow-minded and sighted at the same time.

    No matter how much information you give them, they're only gonna remember what they want. Having a good catchy name is more important in my opinion, then having some fancy schmancy clever use of words to bring customers in. I'd re-think and try some other ideas before you just claim this one and then you're stuck with it.
     
  9. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Use this word: Grafix. It is what all the more gooder places use.:Big Laugh
     
  10. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    "Xtreme Grafix Kwik Sizns" with a big dripping paint brush and diamond plate. don't forget to use a bevel font for the lettering.
     
  11. outside the lineZ
     
  12. Todd-sta

    Todd-sta Member

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    Thanks Gino and the few others that are taking this topic seriously. Appreciate the input...
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  13. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    If you want serious help hire Dan Antonelli or Neato or Deaton or several others on this forum. Even with the best logo/branding you will still have an uphill battle. People have the attention span of a gnat nowadays. Without a massive advertising budget that is correctly targeted for demographics, psychographics, and income among other things it will be tough to promote the image you see for yourself. Sometimes it is not so much the name as the marketing behind it. We have been around 2 decades and still have clients say: "You do that too"? So we have some work to do in that respect also.

    A name change may bring other unwanted issues also. Sometimes it is perceived as a bankruptcy restructuring, new ownership or buyout. Either way regular clients may be put off and potential clients may stay away.

    I have studied the psychology, marketing and consumer relations regarding our line of work. Be prepared for a lot of questions.

    And you thought we didn't care.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  14. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    My two cents: I like Marlene's idea of "Outside the Box". "Outside the Lines" sounds messy. "Outside the Box" sounds creative and can incorporate multiple facets of the business. It's also a great logo design waiting to happen.
     
  15. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    I'm hell bent on Todd's signs. In fact, I may change my business to that name, even though I'm not Todd

    :thumb:
     
  16. ForgeInc

    ForgeInc Active Member

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    "Launch Creative" sounds like you are either a design firm or an advertising firm offering only services not products. If that's the case, I think it might be an OK name (though I know of an already existing firm called Launch House Creative) but if you do more in the realm of printed goods, I think you need to re-work it.

    Maybe consider having it "ABC Graphics" or something like that. "Graphics" can entail both the product side and the service side of the business.

    I don't envy ya, naming is HARD. It's something we struggled with too naming our business, and why chose "....Graphic Works" as part of our name.
     
  17. FireSprint

    FireSprint Very Active Member

    OH MY GOD. WHAT A PERFECT NAME!!! We do more than signs, so we're going to be....

    Xtreme Grafix Kwik Sizns 'n MORE!


    You can't use this one in my state anyway. I have already submitted the name change with our State. In one week, we won't be FireSprint anymore...


    ----

    Seriously though. If you want something open ended I do like Launch Creative. Open ended might mean a jack of all trades, master of none though, and that can be bad. Our name came to me in a dream. I had a dream I was checking to see if FireSprint.com was available. I woke up the next morning and sure enough it was. About a week later we had a name!
     
  18. signworldusinc

    signworldusinc Merchant Member

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    Having a business name with the keywords that most people utilize to find a particular product or service you offer is usually a good idea. But we agree with Gino's statement "A name isn't what sells a business, but your capabilities do/will." Look at Amazon for example; the business name does not relate to what they do/offer but everyone knows who they are.

    Warm regards,
    Signworld Team
     
  19. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    My name Skywatch Signs, in no way says what I do specifically. Yet I do a ton of work, and variety of work. All based on the scope and caliber of work I turn out. So...What's in a name?
    Ironically, just today a women asked me if I tow banners behind a plane. So literal...
     
  20. Dan Antonelli

    Dan Antonelli Very Active Member

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    Todd-

    The question is as much about what it is you today as it is about what you plan to do tomorrow. Charting a course really dictates you have an idea of the destination, and how you plan to get there.

    Small business branding, and it's success is all about standing out, not fitting in. As Don Draper says, one wants to be the needle in the haystack, not the haystack.

    Naming shouldn't be undertaken without really defining who you are, and establishing a creative briefing document which serves as a roadmap for the creative process, and campaign direction. We generally spend 8-10 hours on that component, before even beginning to suggest names for clients. But the exercise is valuable not only for us but for the client because you force the client to view their business intrinsically, which often is an exercise they haven't taken up.

    The obvious problem with Todd's Signs is the name will make it harder to sell the business later. It also sets up the expectation that you are small time, and people will be dealing only with (or want to only) deal with Todd.

    You always want to think about the brand perception, and what you expect the new name and subsequent brand architecture to communicate about who you are as a company, your philosophy, and assumed value proposition to a potential client. Good branding tells the story before you've read it.

    These are two of my favorite success stories we've recently completed, both for HVAC companies. The response has been overwhelming. Think about what all the pieces communicate.

    Anyway, hope that gives you some food for thought Todd!
     
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