Transformation and Changing my Brand: Part 2

Background of Blue Deer

I had renamed my company Blue Deer Designs many years ago (2007). I liked it because it felt elegant, light, and captured living in the Northwest. The downside is the word “designs” can mean so many things, some folks have thought we did graphic design or interior design. It’s never been very clear. I had started up the web hosting business as a separate business for a while, with a separate website called Blue Deer Forest Hosting. Having two websites is a lot of work (I don’t recommend it at all!) and one day, I got tired of having them and combined them.

I started doing business as “Blue Deer Forest” and that wasn’t the best direction, no one know what Blue Deer Forest means. When I introduced myself at networking events, it was never clear what my company did.

Coming up with a new name

The new name needed to have this criteria: easy to spell, short and sweet, and mention web or web design. I started playing with a business name and invited my colleagues I work with to help brainstorm. This was super helpful exercise and a great way to kickoff my brain, this change was real and I really did have to come up with a new name.

I traveled down a path of discovery and the week after that meeting, I came up with a few names that included “web design” or “web studio”. After running the names past some clients and colleagues, most asked “what’s a web studio”. Ha, so I knew I had to stick with “web design” in the name. I felt really happy because it would help everyone identify us in the future at any networking event or online. We would have a strong identity.

The problem with the names (White Pine Web Studio or Juniper Web Design) I came up with were they were too vague and didn’t really connect with the new client focus or messaging in the business. I might as well held onto Blue Deer Forest and added Web Design.

So back to the drawing board I went and I spent hours on looking up words and related words, trying to find a good word combo with “web design”. It’s really hard to come up with an original web design business name, most of them have been taken. The hardest part about having an online business is you don’t want to have the same name as someone in Indiana or London, the search all comes up with the same name. Some of these companies I searched on were savvy with SEO practices they dominate and it’s just silly to try to compete with that!

So I created pages and pages of words and when I thought I had a winner, I would research the name, see what came up in results and also check the Oregon Business Registry. In addition, I would look up the name and see if the domain was available.

Looking for a domain could be pretty frustrating, there aren’t a lot of domains available that are still 3 words and end with a “.com” – I would only use a “.com” for my business, I really don’t think people have been very good at adopting the alternative extensions for domains.

This was usually a frustrating process because most common words exist as a business name for a web design or design agency somewhere in the world. A colleague pointed out this is a newer problem in our lives with the internet. In the past, if you wanted to start a business and/or create  a business name, you only had to check with the state registry and that was it. 

The feeling of yes, this is it!

Finally after talking and getting input from a variety of colleagues and clients, one night I realized that I needed a different approach (I had been working on the name for at least a few weeks) and thought about the words I had collected and what if I found those same words in a different language, but it still needed to be easy to spell!

I had recently met a person in who had a technical business that same week. I noticed her business name was unique, mainly because it was in a different language but it stood out to me.

Aha, the moment came late at night, I was sitting next to my husband and tried out a word with him, which I couldn’t even pronounce right but there was something to it I liked. He suggested a similar word, much easier to spell – Veritas which in Roman mythology means “truth”. I immediately looked up Veritas Web Design online and it looked good, saw if the domain was available and yes, it was! I didn’t see any conflict on the Oregon Business Registry.

Next step was to run the name past more folks to see if there were any associations that negative. Everyone really liked the name, I could relax for a bit and embrace my new name! Now onto the website and new identity, so much work.

Content really does matter and takes time

Again, I can really feel for my clients, it’s a lot to take on. Luckily, I’ve been working on my content for months before coming up with the new name. Content seriously takes time to write. It’s super important to have help when you write, whether it be a editor to help clean it up or a copywriter to help you write it.

I’ve been working on the website just like I would a client site, setting deadlines for big pieces like the mockup, making sure I have all of my content ready before the mockup stage, including photos. Yes, I went and had a photo shoot done, another accomplishment I usually ask my clients to do. I think it’s vital to showcase yourself in action with clients and demonstrate how you interact. I believe it’s important for clients to be able to visualize working with you, even if there’s only a few face to face meetings.

Stay tuned for the new site to launch end of March!

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