A crucial lesson in branding.
Plans for 2024? Well firstly, let's go ahead and action the NUMBER 1 thing you should never do… Good way to start, huh.
With any sort of explanatory run up, you’ll see where I am going. So I’ll lay out it first, then give our rationale.
We are changing the brand name.
Originally the cute concept of having the brand named after the Italian phrase ‘She is’ wore thin quick - after pronunciation issues, lead to search issues, lead to referral complications. And, so on…
All in all, this is the only rationale needed.
It was an immature early branding error. Building a business is about trial and error, making mistakes and learning. I just wish I hadn't done it on such a vital component of the business. Ah well, onward.
Brand names - at the absolute top of the hierarchy - need salience. First and foremost. Which we couldn't achieve with a name that could not cake itself onto the memory walls if it couldn’t be pronounced or spelt.
This big of a decision needs time. However, time is also your enemy here. Now is always better than later. So once it became obvious that we needed a change, we had to move fast.
So the decision structure became;
The emphasis on phonetics is important here. What I mean is, although we may get many different versions of the pronunciation, you can sound it out when trying to spell it and get it correct every time. Most people will likely break it down into the two syllables and that will achieve the correct spelling, for searching and referral purposes. “Le-her”
This is important and often overlooked.
Although for the users sake, you need something short and easy to spell - if it is too short/simple, then the word is likely occupied for many other purposes. Brands/phrases/people etc. Therefore the likelihood of you owning the first page in a Google search, is low.
So you need something with unique characteristics, so that a search engine can correct the search if it's close-to your brand name. If you misspell a simple 4 letter word, you won’t be redirected.
This is the ladder we descended;
Instead of start completely fresh, the transition to something that actually sounds similar to
Lei è will be a more straightforward pivot, as many of our audience either may not notice the change or have the thought ‘oh that's how you say it’.
Anyway, a massive bugaboo in the branding world, but I feel it’s the right call before we start year 2.
WHAT DO WE HAVE PLANNED FOR THIS YEAR?
I hate, genuinely, hate to say it…. BUT, we have such a massive year coming up.
I know you would have heard that so many times over the years and likely read it consistently over the past few weeks - however in our instance, from behind the driver seat, it is substantially different to many years that we have had - with Leher and other brands we’ve worked with.
For example, the mens label which we work with, Howlet, has a big year of course, however it’s more around ‘business as usual’. Their model is set and it's about optimising and pulling the levers they know work.
For Leher, we spent the first year really establishing our design identity and ironing out a bunch of operational creases to accommodate scale.
On the design identity front; this is around finding both our USP and PMF (Product Market Fit). It's all well and good, having a Unique Proposition, but if no one wants it… Well, you get it.
So we went in deep on the style that found traction.
NOW, this year, it's massively, wholeheartedly focused on building out the entire infrastructure of a jewellery company.
The plan is simple. Not easy, but straightforward. With big strides, no small girl stuff.
Design identity - DONE (2023)
Fill out the engagement ring collection to cover all bases within our design identity
Build out supporting collection (Fine Rings, Signet Necklace, Bracelet)
Campaign & studio shoots (huge focus)
Activations; pop up retail stores (first one in February in Paddington)
IN-STORE experience. Now we begin to create the Leher Experience in studio. We’re lucky enough to have a very skilled interior designer in our ranks, that will create a truly remarkable moment for couples coming in for consultations.
Now, is this even lightly interesting to you anyone reading for engagement ring education - in which this newsletter is usually for?
Likely not, however it was partly for my own creative and motivational endurance. Give myself clarity and something to revisit in 12 months.
For those few readers that have made it this far, let me tell you… We have some amazing collections releasing over the coming weeks. Let me give you the anchoring points of each;
“Without the centre stone”
“The Champagne Campaign”
“The morning of…” Bridesmaid gifts.
Sound juicy? OOoyeh, you better believe it.