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Branding Step 1: Choose Your Business Name

Wapiti is undergoing a radical rebranding. While we'll continue to serve our clients in exactly the same way, we are changing everything about our brand from the ground up similarly to starting a new business.

The Move

As of September 2020, Wapiti is now located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. As the owner of the business, it follows me wherever I go and my family made the decision to move to be closer to our extended family in the area.

Wapiti was started in 2013 with one goal - to help small businesses and nonprofits find success. We have been blessed to remain busy helping each of our clients set up/improve their e-commerce and find new ways to grow even through the pandemic.

Why I Chose Change

Over the years we've honed our services while continuing to offer stellar support for our clients. As our services have come more and more into focus, our brand has felt a bit out of focus and a bit stodgy. Also, most people that hear it for the first time think our name is "clam chowder"… sigh.

With all of that at play, I made the decision to rename the company and rebrand the company completely. As of today, Wapiti begins making the transition to Wapiti Digital. This process will take many months to fully complete but it's happening!

For the next few articles, I'm going to focus on each step of the business branding process from start to finish as I undergo the very same process. You will be able to follow along and by the end, you should even finish reading this on the new website that is completely branded with our new name, colors, fonts, etc.

Choosing Your Business's Name

For this article, I want to focus on the very first step in this process: choosing your business's name.

When choosing a name, there are a lot of different ways to formulate the end product. Wapiti was a very utilitarian name that served its purpose initially in helping people understand what we did - well, sort of. A lot of businesses have names that are utilitarian like that. On the other hand, most of those business are a bit older and stodgier.

How I Chose Wapiti Digital

I thought about the naming a lot and decided I want the brand to have a distinct mix of modern and old world. Of course, I rarely do things for my own business in the correct order. We started initially by trying to come up with a new logo for Wapiti.

As we worked on the logo, I became more and more into the idea of using an animal as a brand mark. I looked at lions, cougars, bears… they all looked great but none of them matched "Wapiti". Then, my graphic designer showed me a rough sketch of an Elk head. I fell in love with it but again… it didn't work with Wapiti.

This is when it hit me. I needed to completely rebrand including the name.

I chatted with my graphic designer back and forth and eventually landed on Wapiti Digital as the new name for Wapiti. Wapiti is a Native American name for the majestic elk and elk are common to a lot of the United States including the areas where the majority of my clients are. It was perfect.

My designer spent time working on the draft of the logo he made me and perfected the look I wanted but that's for our next article.

Get a Focus Group

I highly recommend finding a focus group to help you with the selection of names, logos, colors, etc. It's amazing what you'll love and others will hate. As part of this process, I used a focus group of professionals and their spouses to help me find the most universally loved ideas and options and it made a huge difference. We'll explore that even more in the next article as well.

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