Imagine this scenario. You just created a complete bath and body collection. You selected the perfect company name, invested in beautifully designed packaging that you love, and created a brand message that has deep meaning for you and aligns with your company name. You take that product to market and work hard to sell it and build a loyal customer base that is engaged with your brand message. Two years later, you are starting to become successful with it and decide to expand your customer reach and product lines. You come up with new products, a skincare line, and decide to join Instagram to attract new customers who might be interested in this new line. While you’re trying to join Instagram, you happen to stumble upon a new company that is using the same name as you. Upon further investigation, you discover that your Trademark application was not submitted by your business adviser years ago like you thought it had been. It turns out you are actually illegally using their name. Because of this, all of your hard work is halted and your product is no longer legally sell-able. What do you do?
That's where I found myself 4 years ago. I had two options: look at this as a sign that this was not meant to be and abandoned my entrepreneurial dream, or recognize that this was an opportunity to capitalize on the new skincare collection I had just developed and turn it into a new brand that better fit the skincare line.
After a few tears, I became a determined woman ready to pivot. I recognized my original brand encouraged women to love themselves and splurge a little, which worked great with a bath and body collection. But for me, a skincare line required a stronger message. I knew I wanted to inspire confidence in women searching for the things in life that mattered to them. Coming up with a brand message was easier than figuring out the brand name. It seemed every name that I thought of had already been taken and Trademarked. It was important to me that my brand name had depth, versatility, and aligned with the message of inspiring confidence. I learned my lesson and wanted to make sure any name I used was not going to experience a Trademark challenge, so I came up with countless names, each time checking the Trademark Electronic Search System to see if it was available. It was astonishing how many names had already been claimed! I was exhausted of testing out names that I knew were not what I wanted but I felt like I was running out of options. Before settling on something that I liked, but didn’t love, I decided to give my brain a rest and sleep on it.
Then one night, the name True North literally came to me in a dream. I knew this was the name for me and prayed it was available for Trademark! It was! I had done a lot of research and felt pretty comfortable with the Trademark process but I was not going to take a chance on missing out on a name again. So I contacted a Trademark attorney to file the paperwork right away and True North was born.
This rebranding process was emotional but I'm happy I experienced it because I learned many valuable lessons along the way. I learned the importance of educating myself on important and legal aspects of my business, even if I outsource those aspect to a professional for help. I learned that pivoting is necessary at times and what while our original company name and brand message worked for bath and body, it would not have been right for skincare. Had I not re-branded when I did my product and the brand message would have been mismatched and I would have missed the best, most cost-effective time to re-brand. Lastly, the rebranding process gave me great confidence as a business owner. I learned the intricacies of Trademarking, strengthened my knowledge in brand marketing, and realized I have the ability to overcome any challenge I'm faced with and create something even better as a result.