Today’s Behind the Biz interview is all about the importance of rebranding a small business. I chat with Sophie, the founder of Silly Loaf, formally known as Ontenzeroseven, about the big and exciting step she took in 2019 to rebrand her business.
When did you decide to rebrand from Onetenzeroseven to Silly Loaf?
It’s been on my mind for a long time, but I felt really sad to let my old identity go. A lot of it was from a practical point of view as over the years I’ve struggled with customers and potential customers not really understanding the name and having difficulty spelling it and getting the numbers mixed up. I wanted something simple that people could remember easily, but I also wanted something that made an impact. I wanted something that immediately gave you a feeling for my brand as soon as you saw it.
How did you decide on Silly Loaf?
With great difficulty!! Haha. It’s so hard to find a name that feels personal to you, but also resonates with your customers, explains what you’re all about and is available and unique. I went through lots of incarnations, but I sort of settled around the idea of having my name included somewhere. I was going to use my initials SJH, but then it just hit one night in bed that I should use my nickname from when I was a kid, “Loaf.” I’ve always been fond of silliness and wanted to reclaim the word back to mean fun and carefree and I love how the two words sound together. It all fit!!
How did you know it was the right time to rebrand?
I guess ultimately I didn’t know and I just had to decide to take that leap or forever hold my peace. I’d been running my business for 8 years as Onetenzeroseven, so it was scary to make such a big change after all that time, but I felt I had outgrown my old branding and I was kind of treading water not moving forward into the things I wanted to do. It was actually during a period of time while I was doing some temp work for a massive company and feeling a bit frustrated that I really poured my creativity into rebranding. It was a creative outlet, I guess, but I think it was due.
Did you do all your branding yourself?
I did!! I recently bought an iPad and Apple Pencil so I’ve been doodling and learning to draw properly on it for about a year. I pretty much spent a few hours every day playing with shapes and words and patterns to come up with the branding I have now. It was SO much fun. I had a little helping hand from reading How to Style Your Brand and Brand Brilliance by Fiona Humberstone though, which I highly recommend if you want to learn about branding.
Why is branding so important as a small business?
Branding is such a huge part of running a business and it’s basically what sets you apart from your competitors. If you’re a small business I like to think of branding more as your little business’ personality, it’s a reason why people want to hang out with you on social media and why they want to spend their hard earned cash on something you’ve created. In very simple terms, it’s why someone would buy something from you and not someone else so I think it’s one of the most important things to learn about!
Did your move from a home office to a studio play a part in your decision to rebrand?
I think indirectly it did, yeah. Moving to my studio has given me such a massive lease of life and sent my productivity through the roof. Not only have I been able to make and dispatch orders quicker and be more organised, but I’ve been able to smash through my ‘dream’ to do list, which is a list of super fun things I wish I could do if I had time. Now I have more time and more motivation to start ticking those off and a rebrand was somewhere on that list.
How have your audience taken to the re-brand?
They have absolutely loved it, which has filled my heart with so much joy I can’t even tell you. For people to really get you and really get what you’re doing is just a feeling I cannot describe. I’ve had a few comments like, “I liked your old name, but this one just fits so perfectly” so I couldn’t ask for any more really. The only negative I’ve had so far is an organization sent me an email saying they “didn’t understand” my new name, which I thought was pretty rude to be honest, but that’s the important thing about branding – it might put some people off, but it will help you find ‘your’ people and that’s what really matters.
I’m sure the rebrand itself was a business high, if a little scary. Other than this, have you had any other highs since you became Silly Loaf?
YES! Oh my God, yes. I recently had my jewellery worn by an idol of mine, the amazing comedian Sara Pascoe! She even wore them on national television. I still haven’t found the words to describe how that one felt. Insanely surreal and just… wow. Yeah, wow.
What can we expect from Silly Loaf in the coming months?
I’ve got a tonne of new designs that I’ve been sitting on until I launch my brand new website in the next month or so. They’re a lot more bold, fun and more ‘statement’ than the pieces I used to do as Onetenzeroseven so I’m really, really excited to share them. I’m also looking into some new products like t-shirts and bags, but they might sneak into 2020, it depends if I run out of time. Haha! I’ve got a whole bunch of market appearances coming up in northern cities as well, so I’m excited to “go on tour” so to speak! Come say hi!!
|Thank you so much to Sophie for taking the time to be involved with Behind the Biz. I can’t wait to see Silly Loaf continue to grow and expand in 2020, I’m particularly excited to see all the new designs.|