Why I Went From 4 Brands to 1
It’s no secret that I looove marketing, but even I get sick of it. It’s like needing a break from your spouse: you adore them, but spending every waking minute with them is a top cause of irritation.
Over the past six years, I accumulated four brands. And no, we’re not talking client brands (I’m happy to report I’ve had well more than four in that department), we’re talking four of MY OWN brands.
How I ended up with four brands.
When I first went into business, I thought I wanted to be a portrait photographer. I loved capturing the joy in simple moments, preserving memories for generations to come.
And so, MegaBug Photography was born.
A few years later, I ended up taking on social media clients, which expanded into full on small business marketing, utilizing the skills I learned in my own business as well as from my work history.
That’s when Nutmeg Media made its debut.
Around this time, I moved into my studio at the Tannery Marketplace with two other ladies. It was my dream studio that I had planned to move into within five years of first seeing it, but I ended up signing the lease less than a year and a half later!
Due to the circumstances that brought the entire arrangement about, we named it Serendipity Studios.
Not only that, I had maintained my own social media accounts and blog under the Miss MegaBug brand.
So there I was with four brands! Four websites, several accounts on numerous social media platforms, a handful of Mailchimp e-newsletters, and two business Quickbooks accounts.
Why I decided to consolidate.
While chatting about a question I had on my tax return, my business advisor asked why I had two separate LLCs, why didn’t I just have one LLC with a dba?
“How dare you!” I thought. “These businesses are like my children!” Each has its own personality; they’re different. They serve different people.
But after sitting on that thought for a few months, I realized that MegaBug Photography and Nutmeg Media were really not that different.
I was shifting away from portraiture and into commercial shoots, oftentimes invoicing the same client from each business.
My target market became the same, but my marketing strategy was confused based on all of my brands. I grew tired of logging into and out of social media accounts trying to reach the same people, and I was losing patience tracking my billing and expenses in two separate Quickbooks accounts, not to mention writing myself two paychecks a week.
So in 2018, I shifted to Nutmeg Media, LLC dba MegaBug Photography.
The backend became much more streamlined. One bank account, one Quickbooks account, one business.
But I was still managing numerous brands. On the outside, MegaBug and Nutmeg were still different. On top of that, Patti and I decided to offer classes at Serendipity Studios, which was a whole other marketing campaign. And I still had my personal accounts as well.
Earlier this year, Patti decided to retire and leave our studio, leaving just me to manage it all. That was the final straw!
I had spent the past few months Kon-Mari-ing the heck outta my life, and it was time to do the same with business.
Since it would be just me going forward, why not eliminate Serendipity Studios?
Okay, I can do that. Now what am I going to call this place? MegaBug Photography & Nutmeg Media Studios? Talk about a mouthful.
How I arrived at the name.
What if I completely rebranded to one singular name? Alright, which name would that be? What do my brands have in common? Me! Not only am I the person behind it all, my name, Meg, is included in every single one.
What I’ve learned about branding is that it’s not only the name and logo of your business, it’s the way you communicate with your ideal clients. The words you use, the photographs you share, and the visual style, including your fonts and colors.
As a one woman show, I wanted my brand to reflect me.
Miss MegaBug has been my nickname since I bought my first car, a 1999 green Volkswagen Beetle. People associate me with that car. It’s the handle of my personal brand and I named my photography business MegaBug Photography. (That and I’m a shutter bug!)
So why not go with Miss MegaBug?
How I Went From 4 Brands to 1
It was still really challenging for me to let go of my other brands. I opened MegaBug Photography when I was just 18, and I loved the Nutmeg Media name. Patti had done a beautiful job with the Serendipity Studios brand, and I had put so much time into the websites, social media accounts, and e-newsletters.
But the thing is, you can’t continue exhausting yourself with an unnecessary process just because it required a huge investment up front.
I knew my re-brand would also require a lot of my time and a bit of money, but in the end, I would be saving so much time and peace of mind having a streamlined process.
So here’s what I did:
1. I determined my offerings based on what I enjoyed doing and what I’m best at: writing, photography, and empowering small business owners to do their own marketing.
2. I created my Ideal Customer Avatar so I knew who I wanted to work with. This has allowed me to hone in on the voice and aesthetic that would best connect with them. Basically, my personality!
3. How did I want my ideal customer to respond to my voice and brand aesthetic? Since I wanted to work with happy, ambitious women, I wanted them to feel happy when they saw my brand. If they didn’t like it, we wouldn’t be a good fit to begin with.
4. What is Miss MegaBug anyway? Well, I’m “Meg” and I drive two Volkswagen “bugs.” The name is fun already, so how can I make the look fun? Through color! I adore the bright, bold colors from the 1950s, so I found the below color palette on Pinterest.
5. As a writer, I’m big into symbolism, and I wanted to clearly communicate what I do. MegaBug Photography obviously offered photography, and Nutmeg Media offered media-related services. The name Miss MegaBug is rather vague, so I added the tagline “writer, photographer, marketing mentor” and decided to have a different color for each service, pulling from the original brands.
“Photographer” would be green like MegaBug Photography’s brand, and “marketing mentor” would be purple like Nutmeg Media’s brand. Miss MegaBug would be in blue as that’s how it was already branded, so pulling from the color palette I picked out, I made “writer” orange. This allowed me to keep a portion of my original brands so I wasn’t as sad to say goodbye to them.
The tagline would also be the Courier font I had been using for each of my brands.
6. I shifted my services information from the MegaBug Photography, Nutmeg Media, and Serendipity Studios websites to Miss MegaBug, and redirected the domains to a cover page:
Basically, I didn’t want to cause confusion if anyone were to search for my old brands.
7. I re-named by MegaBug Photography Facebook page to Miss MegaBug and created posts on the MegaBug Photography and Serendipity Studios Instagram accounts stating that they were archival accounts and to follow @missmegabug. I also shifted my lists from the Serendipity Studios and MegaBug Photography Mailchimp accounts to Miss MegaBug. I didn’t have any social media or e-newsletter accounts for Nutmeg Media.
The end result.
Not only am I saving so much time having just one brand, my mind is focused and I have much more clarity. I’m able to create a marketing strategy that’s more effective and less time consuming, and my message is clear. Not only that, I adore my new branding!
It was definitely a journey getting to where I am, but I’m grateful for the process. I expanded many skills and learned some lessons that I look forward to sharing so I can help others who have found themselves in similar positions.
I’d love to hear from you!
How have you made one aspect of your business simpler or easier to manage? Write all about it in the comments below.