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New Directions

Success stories from 3 entrepreneurs who rebranded.
January 1, 2008
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/187600

Signature Keepsakes
The Company: A manufacturer of engravable keepsakes in Cumming, Georgia, launched by Gary and Julie Shimer, 39 and 34, respectively
Before: The company started as I Do Engravables in 2005, focusing solely on the wedding market.
After: Customers started buying the company's unique engravable mats and guestbook platters for special events beyond weddings--like retirement parties and graduations--prompting the pair to change their company's name in 2007 and expand marketing to all gift segments.
The Result: Rebranding was so successful that even the Shimers were surprised. "We're still uncovering ways to sell the product," says Gary. "We were [even] approached by the memorial services industry for funerals, and we never envisioned [that]."
2007 Sales: $1 million

Poppy
The Company: A fashion boutique in New York City founded by Leslie McKeown, 37
Before: When McKeown started out in 2003, she branded her store with a simple pink poppy to convey her brand's edgy and fresh image.
After: Branching out to baby clothes and her own line of clothing called for a more sophisticated image, so McKeown completely redesigned her logo, marketing materials and even store signage.
The Result: She says customers love the new look, though she did keep one poppy on the front window. "People were impressed with the rebranding, but they were also very nostalgic," says McKeown. "They said, 'We love it; our little Poppy is all grown up.'"
2007 Sales: $1 million

AndCulture
The Company: A strategic marketing and communications agency founded by David Hickethier, 30
Before: Founded in 1999, the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, business originally created websites under the name D2 Media.
After: Hickethier renamed the company in 2006 to highlight its new brand identity--integrating clients' media, messages and cultures--and hired new marketing specialists and copywriters.
The Result: The rebranding occurred as AndCulture went national, and sales have doubled since then. "The brand we'd built was very pigeonholed," Hickethier says. "Rebranding has opened doors with [both] existing clients and new prospects."
2007 Sales: $2 million