Behind The Scenes Of A Rebrand: Specht & Co.

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Hey friend, welcome to my first official blog post as the owner and chief brand strategist at Specht & Co. Creative Studio!

There have been some really exciting things happening around here and I am SO excited to finally get to share some behind-the-scenes awesomeness with you.

Most of you know me as Morgan Stapp, owner and designer at Morgan Stapp Design and most of you also know that I recently got married (and changed my last name). Initially, I had planned to keep my business dealings under “Morgan Stapp” even though I knew I’d be getting a new last name. I had just launched a new website in July, everything was working fine, and thinking of a new catchy business name really just wasn’t on my list of priorities.

Now let’s fast forward to mid-November when my husband and I returned from our honeymoon, and it was time to dive into work again. All of a sudden things were not feeling so great. I was over-the-moon about being newly married, had all kinds of big business goals set for 2019, and was loving my new day-to-day routine of heading to the office (dogs in tow) on my own schedule and being free to use my time as I saw fit.

It was time to get out there, “hit the pavement,” and start booking my services for 2019. And all I wanted to do was run and hide. All of a sudden, my brand didn’t feel like it fit me anymore. Kind of like when you accidentally shrink your favorite t-shirt in the dryer and now it’s barbie-sized, but you try to convince yourself you can stretch it out enough to squeeze into.

Nope. Not gonna happen.

So what’s a girl to do you ask?

Que a rebrand!

The Name

The main issue that sparked this whole dilemma was that my new married name didn’t match my business name. Things felt really disjointed, and I wasn’t sure how I could “show up” in my business when it felt like I was quite literally living two different lives. Morgan Stapp, the business owner, designer, and entrepreneur, and Morgan Specht, the new wife and shamelessly obsessed dog mom.

“Morgan Stapp Design” was also starting to feel a little restrictive for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it gave the impression that I was the one who would be doing 100% of the work if someone decided to work with me. Historically, that had been the case but recently I’d begun outsourcing some tasks to other designers, VA’s, web developers, etc. and my goals for the new year included beginning to build a team, so I really wanted a name that would allow itself to grow into more of an agency model rather than a single-designer shop.

Secondly, the “design” in Morgan Stapp Design implied that the only service I provided was graphic design. While this has been and still is true (we primarily offer branding, graphic design, and web design services,) I now realize how quickly businesses evolve, and have the foresight to know that a year or 5 years from now, I might want to offer a completely different service. Brand coaching, designer mentorship, professional dog-walking, who knows! The possibilities are endless, but I do know that I don’t want to have to keep changing my business name every time I change my offerings.

Now I know this sounds like a quick, hasty decision but I can assure you that it was definitely not. After a couple weeks of brainstorming business names, discussing with my biz-besties, husband, and fabulous business coach, I finally settled on Specht & Co. Creative Studio for the name of my “new” business. “Specht” was my new last name, “& Co.” implies that there are multiple people behind the scenes, and “creative studio” gives a general idea of what we do, but isn't too restrictive or specific that we’re pigeonholed into a super niche service or industry.

The hard part was done - I now had a business name that not only matched my married name, but also allowed for a lot more growth and evolution than my business’s previous moniker of Morgan Stapp Design did. Success!

The Visuals

With a new name comes a new logo, and I was really excited about this part. Previously I had incorporated mountains into my logo for Morgan Stapp Design and I truly did love them, but they were getting a little tired. I mean I LOVE the mountains, but I was struggling to see how that connected with my business and I knew there must be a more intentional way to design the mark that would represent this enterprise of mine for years to come.

But eventually it came to me.

My husband had told me a while ago that “Specht” is the German word for woodpecker, but naturally I thought this was just one of his million useless facts to share with me, and pretty much pushed it out of my mind. It wasn’t until I started preliminary sketches for my new logo that this fun fact popped into my head again, and I began to do some research.I was absolutely fascinated learning how different cultures view the woodpecker, how they’re used in storytelling, and how much I could relate it to my business. I learned that

“The meaning of woodpecker is strongly rooted in communication and opportunity. When the woodpecker shows up in our lives, it’s a good time to get clever about how we communicate our needs to reach our best advantage. Woodpecker meaning is also about determination and being resourceful.”

and that

“Woodpeckers are determined. We can be too. A big symbolic meaning of woodpecker is about reminding us to be strong when it comes to reaching our goals.”

Pretty much everything woodpeckers do in the wild can be loosely translated to what I do in my business - intentional communication? Check. Sees value and opportunity everywhere? Yep. A headstrong, “never-give-up” attitude? That’s me. And so it was settled. A Woodpecker would be the face of Specht & Co.

The rest of the design process was pretty straight-forward. Since I had just updated my branding in July, I was able to pull a color palette and fonts from there and only had to update a couple of things. For example, I added a coral color to my color palette for a little pop of contrast and also chose a new primary font that fit better with the logo I had designed. Additionally, I changed a few of the design elements on my website which included adding some paint splatters here and there to marry my love for digital design with my appreciation for fine art, and creating some polaroid type images to showcase my services on the homepage.

The next step was implementing my new brand across social media, third party services, etc. This was really quite the beast of an endeavor, so I’ll spare you the details but if you can grab my Ultimate Branding Checklist to see all of the places that your branding should be showcased.

The Website

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I just got a new website courtesy of the lovely Kyrsten & Kelly at Copper Kettle Co. back in July. As part of that process, I moved away from my beloved Squarespace in order to give ShowIt a try. The site was beautiful, and ShowIt was easy enough to navigate but honestly I just didn’t have the time or desire to learn a whole new platform.

So back to Squarespace I went. My website is constantly getting updated, and I really just needed something that I was comfortable using, responded well on a mobile device, and didn’t need plug-in updates every two weeks - Squarespace fit those needs perfectly.

Fortunately, the folks at Copper Kettle Co. set up everything on my previous site in a way that was totally strategic and made a whole lot of sense, so I was able to more-or-less copy over what they’d done, update to new colors and fonts, and call it good. I did also update some of the copy to better reflect who we are and what we do along with adding two new service pages but it was nothing major.

For a little extra fun, here’s a graphic that shows the evolution of my website over the last three years...

The Conclusion

Specht & Co. is a business and a brand that I am proud to share with the world, and will grow with me for years to come. The process was long and I wanted to bang my head against a wall more than once, but it was absolutely worth every late night, extra cup of coffee, lightbulb moment, and everything in between.

If you’re feeling stuck in your business, or like things just don’t quite fit then maybe a rebrand is just what you need to reignite that fire inside you as well! I would encourage you to listen to my episode of the Crush The Journey podcast where I talk all about how to know if it’s time to rebrand, and how to choose the right designer for you. And as always, feel free to reach out with any and all questions, comments, or cute dog gifs.