How a Robot-Maker Rebranded Her KC Biz — and How You Can, Too
By Rebecca Jackson, Contributor, The Bot Connection
Branding or rebranding your business isn’t easy. But artist Rebecca Jackson of The Bot Connection recounts how she made the leap and has some tips for how you can, too, no matter if you build bots, make coffee, oversee construction, create apps or offer a service.
I make robots.
People usually don’t know how to respond when I say that. Explaining my art and what I do comes with the territory, but let me tell you, the prior name of my company sure wasn’t helping. I needed a rebrand.
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I’ve been in business as an artist since 2008, experimenting in a variety of mediums (starting with smashing plates and making mosaics, then breaking clocks and making Steampunk jewelry, while also sprinkling in a slew of reassembled robots). I originally named myself Remnants by RJ because I’m Rebecca Jackson, and because throughout all my phases of art, I’ve been working with castoff materials, aka remnants.
It didn’t take long for me to get tired of making mosaics and jewelry, but bringing robots to life always brings me joy. Everywhere I look, I see bots waiting to be reunited with heads, appendages and bodies. I take discarded bits of everyday life — outmoded, outdated, or just plain unwanted stuff — and let them become something new through trial and error. It’s my mission to rescue these parts, reassemble them and release completed robots into the world again.
So last year, I decided to take my business to the next level. (Insert Mario Bros. music here.) It was time to rebrand.
It took me a few months to settle on a new name. I wanted it to be simple and, most of all, I wanted it to immediately speak to what I do. I filled pages with different ideas for names, looking them up on domain sites, social media and Google. Finally, I found a name that was available and one that I thought encompassed my passion. But I second-guessed myself over and over. I was paralyzed by indecision.
It took the encouragement of some fellow local makers and friends to finally push me to take the plunge.
Goodbye, Remnants by RJ. Hello, The Bot Connection.
A friend helped me make a new logo, featuring Norman, my robot sidekick and the face of my business. The name was a perfect fit because my bots are all about making connections. The vintage and secondhand items I use are connections to the past—they harken back to that favorite canister your grandmother had; they’re reminders we can reuse and redefine what others simply throw away. Plus, each bot makes a connection to the people who see them. Not only does each bot have a name, but they also have a story and a personality. You can’t help but connect with them.
My tagline speaks to another aspect of my work: using a creative word and coupling it with a mechanical one. I believe my imagination is what sets me apart from other artists. I create characters. I take away the stiff, mechanical view of robots and reprogram my bots with whimsy and personality. My art is a challenge to rethink the familiar and spark imagination, and I hope to inspire that same creativity in others.
With a week of social media ads and coupons, The Bot Connection debuted a year ago in September 2017. Emboldened by simply taking that step forward, I am now a more focused, more thoughtful business owner.
The anniversary of my rebrand has given me the chance to reflect and recognize the small but important changes I’ve made. To support a more professional image, I now include story cards that are signed and numbered for each of the bigger robots. I also include handwritten thank-you notes with each purchase and have taken more care in my packaging to make the “unboxing” of my bots a fun experience. In short, rebranding taught me to be aware of how I present myself to the world and allowed me to take myself more seriously.
Of course, I’m still making changes and growing my brand, but that’s just it … now, I feel like I have a brand.
Ready to brand or rebrand your biz ... or looking to do something similar ... or maybe something else? Tell us here at KCSourceLink a bit about yourself at this link or give us a call at 816-235-6500, and we'll get your business moving in the right direction.
5 Huge Things to Consider during a Rebrand:
1. Why are you rebranding?
Think about the core reasons behind this decision. You don’t want to lose current customers or confuse past customers without a well thought-out reason. Will this bring clarity to your brand or confuse it more?
If you’re sure you want to move forward, you should search government registries, like this one from Kansas, to make sure the name of your product is available, among other things. Aside from that, you want the name of your company to be easy to remember, easy to spell and easy for customers to identify with.
3. Have you checked social media?
Make sure the name you want is available across all relevant platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, website registry, etc.). You don’t want to ask customers to remember variations of your name, so search Google and social media account names to make sure your new name is also available on those channels.
4. What does your logo say about you?
Make your logo unique, but simple. You want customers to see it and immediately know who or what it it’s linked to. If you decide to include a tagline, make it short and meaningful. Don’t ask your customer to overthink things.
5. Are you ready?
Plan out a timetable for the new rollout. Prepare some teaser ads to run on your current social media platforms leading up to the big day. Engage your audience and share your excitement. Consider giving them incentives to share the news (coupons, giveaways, etc.). Finally, switch over your social media accounts and website before you make the big announcement so you’ll present a seamless, unified front on the big day of your relaunch.