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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old April 24th, 2010, 11:14 AM   #1
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new name?

Hi. I'm looking for some advice about the idea of changing your company name and/ or the best way to go about it.

I have been using my company name for about a year and a half...don't have it register, no website...just an exposureroom account and word of mouth. Even thou its been short time already people start to recognize and learn about us. I'm now thinking on using a new name since I'm not totally happy with the one we have.

I know there are a a lot of people here with a cool name and will be 100% happy with them but I wonder if there are people that think of changing names and if they decide to do it or not... why? how?

One concern is with the highlights i already have up for previews clients....

Any opinions about this subject?
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Old April 24th, 2010, 11:32 AM   #2
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No BS...

At Re:Frame SF there was a 2 hr. presentation on company imagery and re-branding.
If there's one thing needed to focus on when it comes to re-branding it's to be concise in your first impression.

The first two questions new clients ask is, "who are you?" and "what do you do?". If you can answer both of those in your company name, you're ahead of the game.

On business cards, people stop reading after your phone number. So keep it simple, don't list everything you do. Let your card drive them to your website where you can offer way more.

Make your name Google-able...
With a little work, your name will be #1
(btw, my signature here is part of my Google ranking/re-branding)
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Old April 24th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #3
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Some of the information from my very brief foray into keeping up a blog may help:

Creating an Identity





Quote:
Originally Posted by Osmany Tellez View Post
Hi. I'm looking for some advice about the idea of changing your company name and/ or the best way to go about it.

I have been using my company name for about a year and a half...don't have it register, no website...just an exposureroom account and word of mouth. Even thou its been short time already people start to recognize and learn about us. I'm now thinking on using a new name since I'm not totally happy with the one we have.

I know there are a a lot of people here with a cool name and will be 100% happy with them but I wonder if there are people that think of changing names and if they decide to do it or not... why? how?

One concern is with the highlights i already have up for previews clients....

Any opinions about this subject?
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Old April 25th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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thanks

Thanks guys...very helpfull ...i understand a bit more now..still...hard desition....coming up with a name is very difficult....i change my mind many times....

will keep working on it...
thanks a lot...
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Old April 26th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #5
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This is something I've gone back and forth and back and forth on myself. When I started my company a few years back our main goal was to shoot commercials and corporate... Weddings where secondary. Flash forward to today, weddings bring in six figures a year alone and is now the cash cow... commercials and corporate is now the secondary facet and more just the gravy. Well when I started, Higher Definition Media sounded like a cool name for a 'Media' company... but I know the modern bride is not looking for a 'Media' company... she's looking for more of the boutique 'studio' type of outfit. I have worked hard for years on building my brand, but what do you do when business shifts and you find yourself doing something you didn't intend on doing when you started. Change your name? Create a subsidiary? I totally see that value of being niche and creating a niche yet clever and memorable name/brand. If I didn't have a website, business cards, and advertising campaign, etc. I would do it in a heartbeat... so I say, go for it! Better to do it now then wait till after you have all that stuff. As for me, I still can't decide on what do. It's driving me nuts.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 04:18 PM   #6
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Hi Andrew,

I just took a look at your site. I don't think you're in a bad situation at all. Your site is slick, but not too techie, and it shows that you're adept at doing things other than weddings. Speaking from a consumer's standpoint, I'd feel very comfortable knowing that weddings are not your only gigs. You might want to think about constructing a dedicated weddings page, possibly with an HDM related domain so it has its own entrance. Just a thought.

(I'm intensely jealous that you have an editor for your weddings. Being a one-man-show takes its toll.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Waite View Post
This is something I've gone back and forth and back and forth on myself. When I started my company a few years back our main goal was to shoot commercials and corporate... Weddings where secondary. Flash forward to today, weddings bring in six figures a year alone and is now the cash cow... commercials and corporate is now the secondary facet and more just the gravy. Well when I started, Higher Definition Media sounded like a cool name for a 'Media' company... but I know the modern bride is not looking for a 'Media' company... she's looking for more of the boutique 'studio' type of outfit. I have worked hard for years on building my brand, but what do you do when business shifts and you find yourself doing something you didn't intend on doing when you started. Change your name? Create a subsidiary? I totally see that value of being niche and creating a niche yet clever and memorable name/brand. If I didn't have a website, business cards, and advertising campaign, etc. I would do it in a heartbeat... so I say, go for it! Better to do it now then wait till after you have all that stuff. As for me, I still can't decide on what do. It's driving me nuts.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Andrew Waite View Post
Flash forward to today, weddings bring in six figures a year alone.
Sounds like Higher Definition Media has worked out just fine for you. Why would you change it?
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Old April 28th, 2010, 12:38 AM   #8
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Joel,
Hire one... You will be so glad you did. Read the book "E-Myth" it will change your life. I promise.

Vito,
There is something to be said about being "niche". It's funny to me when I see a business advertise it's self with something along the lines of "specializing in weddings, mitzfas, anniversaries, funerals, bar-b-qs, brisks, etc....." I say, if you specialize in many things, you don't specialize in anything. Specialize has turned into one of those fancy words that gets thrown around a lot in marketing like... "gourmet (as in gourmet tv dinners), state of the art (who really has state of the art or cutting edge when they are really referring to something that can be purchased a Best Buy), broadcast quality (don't get me started), etc. I just think there is something appealing to a bride if you have the appearance of someone who only does weddings... And not someone who does weddings, billy's birthday party, suzie's dance recital, grandpas funural, and really any job he can get... If you know what I mean. Wow, hopefully that didn't come off preachy... Not my intention. I love the idea of keeping it simple and appealing. Perseption is a huge part of our business and the rest of the wedding industry.

Osmany,
Sorry if I totally hijacked your thread. I just hope you can take something from all this.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 11:27 AM   #9
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Andrew,

I think you make an excellent point. This is why when we created our company, we made the LLC Pendergraft Productions, but we have a "does business as" set up for PenWeddings, and we have three different web pages set up for weddings, corporate and family videography.

We have enough name recognition now with PenWeddings that we don't want to change it, even though we realized we were kind of stupid in not somehow including "films" or "video" in the name... we've been asked more than a few times if we do calligraphy.

However, since we've pushed weddings more than anything and the corporate stuff is "gravy" for us as well, we've thought about changing our main name because it doesn't roll off the tongue well and we're getting tired of spelling our last name over and over (although legally it will remain the same, we'll just add a new DBA).

We've tossed around simple changes like Studio P, Pen Productions, Pen Media, etc... but so far nothing has excited us, and most of these websites are taken too.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 12:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Waite View Post
This is something I've gone back and forth and back and forth on myself. When I started my company a few years back our main goal was to shoot commercials and corporate... Weddings where secondary. Flash forward to today, weddings bring in six figures a year alone and is now the cash cow... commercials and corporate is now the secondary facet and more just the gravy. Well when I started, Higher Definition Media sounded like a cool name for a 'Media' company... but I know the modern bride is not looking for a 'Media' company... she's looking for more of the boutique 'studio' type of outfit. I have worked hard for years on building my brand, but what do you do when business shifts and you find yourself doing something you didn't intend on doing when you started. Change your name? Create a subsidiary? I totally see that value of being niche and creating a niche yet clever and memorable name/brand. If I didn't have a website, business cards, and advertising campaign, etc. I would do it in a heartbeat... so I say, go for it! Better to do it now then wait till after you have all that stuff. As for me, I still can't decide on what do. It's driving me nuts.
If weddings are your focus, then I say brand for weddings. If you're getting a lot of corporate work and you want to keep getting it, then just start up a second company specifically for weddings, with bride-oriented branding. You can always merge the two companies at some point or just drop one of them.

We started as an advertising agency under a completely different name. We gradually moved out of advertising and into strictly video production. Then we started up our photography company, for weddings, with a completely separate name. Eventually the video production company became focused primarily on weddings .. and we ended up merging it into the photography company. At the time, we 'specialized' in weddings (cinema & photo), senior portraits, and boudior portraits. Now we're dropping all of that except the weddings and focusing strictly on that.

The funny thing is that even though I no longer have the video production company going, and our current website has ZERO corporate branding .. I've already picked up two corporate projects just this month. So in a sense, you can have your cake and eat it too. Good clients will recognize good work, and are likely to book you even if what you specialize in doesn't quite fit them.

So I say figure out what you really want to push, and then just go there. Being a true 'specialist' really carries appeal to the client you're trying to reach.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 07:36 PM   #11
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good syuff

no problem Andrew...I'm learning here from you all.

yeah...mine is also that. I'm new and building slowly but yeah..beginning for me was..Hey I wanna do weddings but I also wanna do, music videos, fashion, corporate maybe even documentary and who knows..so...how can I keep all of that open..in the name and in our presentation...wuao..makes it very hard to come up with a good plan....so, now i'm thinking i got to refocus and concentrate on one thing (doesn't mean we wont do something else too) make it clean, simple and clear....therefore the NEW NAME!! but..its scary because even thou you have been at it for short time already people start to know our name and are passing it around...so, don't wanna miss what we already started.....so..my dilema...

i know is even easier for us because we don't even have website ect..but still...people learned our name from references we got...tough...also we haven't come up with anything that's making me jump up yet...still searching..

thanks to all..please keep sharing
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Old April 29th, 2010, 02:30 PM   #12
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I'm in the same predicament... if I'm going to do it, what name. Picking a name is something I am dreading and is one of the main reasons I haven't done it yet. I would almost rather slit my wrists and do pushups in about 6 inches of salty lemon juice! Once you think I might have a great name you go to Godaddy.com only to find that it's not available in anything other than .biz, .info, .mobi, and .whothehellcaresaboutanythingelsebutdotcom then it's back to the drawing board unless you are creative and smart like travis and go with something easy to remember and says it all, but isn't your business name. Why can't I be smart and creative like you Travis!? Maybe I'll start a website called www.evenmorebeyondordinary.com or www.waybeyondordinary.com :P
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