If you've been on our website or social media pages before, you might have noticed that over the weekend there was a bit of a change (and quite a bit of chatter on our stories about it!). We rebranded, and moved the website over to a new shopping platform - but why? You might be wondering why.
Launching the new logo, and the new website felt a bit nerve wracking if I'm honest. It was a real labour of love and other than a little bit of help with the graphics, all my own work. I didn't want to hand the reins over to someone else to craft the website. (Control freak much?)
Rebranding is a big step for any small business owner - its your identity isn't it, its like changing your name in real life I guess. Everyone knows Asda for its green logo, Sainsbury's is orange.. and Equissentials is black & white. It's just the way it is. When we started coming up for 6 years ago (wow, is it really that long?) I googled a little bit, found some images and added some text and there we had it. Our logo.
It then grew and was embroidered on sponsored rider kit, saddlepads and became a part of the family - I was quite attached it to but there was always the niggly feeling it wasn't quite right for us as a brand.
The old logo was pretty well described by one of our sponsored riders as 'similar to a lot of other logos' and she was right, it was just a swirly horse with our brand name. It didn't really represent who we are and what we do.
I toyed around with the idea of removing 'dressage' from the name - as even though we both are dressage riders, we do cater for showjumpers, eventers, happy hackers, pretty much anyone with a horse. However, we'd started with it in the name, and I wanted to stay true to that, and the fact the majority of our customer base comes from the dressage community.
You'll perhaps know that we built our brand and products offered around the harder to find brands. We've often been the first to stock a brand in the UK (PS of Sweden, La Valencio, Rider by Horse for example) and the business was very much born out of our own frustrations in not being able to find different products and brands very easily. So, a generic looking swirly pony logo didn't really fit that ethos.
I'd been listening to business podcasts and audio books in the car and the key message around branding was that you really needed to love it - it needed to feel 'you' and represent your business well.
So the unicorn was born - a little bit different in its style, not the easiest of creatures to stumble across and very much us as a brand.
A brand is so much more than a logo, its the service you offer, the products you bring - the way you chat to and engage with customers, packaging, personality - it's everything you do and thats where I felt there was a disconnect - her ewe were offering unique products from amazing brands from across Europe - bringing new brands to the UK and disrupting the trends.. whilst our logo just felt the same as a hundred other companies doing a variety of horsey things.
So we rebranded, and here it is.