The Pain of Switching Brands
Blogs can be brilliant for building up a brand over time. Just look at Aaron Wall with his SEOBook and Wendy with her eMom brands.
Both are well known, powerful and influential brands.
But both are finding their current brands at odds with who they and their business represent today. Wendy wants to appeal to more than just Moms, Aaron no longer publishes a book but a full SEO training system.
What do you do when your well known brand doesn’t match with your business?
All you can do is redirect your pages to a new domain, take the hit in the search engines and do as much communication and promotion about the change as you can.
Thankfully your loyal audience will mostly be supportive while you keep their needs in mind, and the new brand stays relevant to them, plus if you pitch the change right it can be newsworthy which can help get the word out.
Chris is a professional blogger and internet marketing consultant. You can get more of his blogging tips, internet marketing advice and copywriting articles and a FREE ebook just by subscribing at chrisg.com
That’s really interesting… I’d never thought about something like that before. Thanks!
Thanks for the mention Chris! I really thought I was just leaving dads out in my initial brand – turns out I have a pretty vocal group of non-parents who want to be ‘included’ when I rename things. I kid of felt like I opened up a can of worms by the end of the day yesterday when I first posted that branding article. Today I’m feeling a little better about tackling this project and doing it right.
I certainly did find that you can’t rebrand in a week. My bad. :)
What do you mean by “Redirect your pages to a new domain?” If you’re using WordPress, can’t you simply change your “WordPress address” and “Blog address” in your Options page? Shouldn’t that automagically 301 all of your old content?
Actually, in my opinion, a better way would be to expand your brand, rather than switch it.. This could be done by maintaining two separate but complementary sites and directing traffic by plugging your other service in your blogs, newsletters etc.. Although this might take more work, it is a better strategy and would work wonders for getting the new blog/site more (loyal) traffic.
Of course, if you opted for a more generic brand or name to begin with, you could easily transition your offerings through your current site…
It’s funny, I was just thinking about this problem today. My current website, Ayo’s Website Design, started as a website design company, as you would expect with that name :).
However, I have found that discussing the business strategy behind a successful website is more interesting than building them. So now, educational blogging is becoming more of my focus.
This leaves me wondering what I should do if I later decide to make a wholesale shift in this direction. Changing my company name and my domain would bring a risk that I lose readers.
But I guess you’re right. You just have to bite the bullet, do what’s best long-run, and hope loyal readers make the move with you.
Does anyone have data showing how much of a drop-off they experienced when making a similar move?