You Spoke, I Listened

I posted a logo contest on Facebook this past Friday for Lady Soleil. Almost half of the feedback was negative.

In total, 80 plus comments were delivered, some friends just giving love, many friends criticizing the logos. Here are the critiques:

  • Lady Soleil is a bad name
  • Sun logos are obvious and cheesy
  • The combinations make you look like a) a feminine hygeine company, b) a Myrtle beach (or some other beach) type of company c) a tanning salon
  • It isn’t clear what you do

At first I defended the name, as the company is named after my daughter, and it has been for the past two years. Plus the initial comments seemed like graphic designers fighting the religious war against crowdsourcing (which in turn made me regret posting the contest in the first place).

This is not to get into the whole crowdsourcing creative services debate, which is significant in its own right. As a writer who competes in a market where my creativity is often demanded for free (like blogs, white papers, etc.), I certainly empathize with my creative brethren, but have surrendered to market realities.

Yet as the comments continued, I realized the comments had more substance. Those who commented were sincere in trying to prevent me from making a possible mistake. The feedback was valuable and useful.

I should be grateful that enough people cared about my business to voice their opinion in the first place. Because so many did, I listened.

As a result, I am considering several paths.

It’s too costly to change the company name. Instead, I am having a conversation with my lawyer this week about the possibility of picking up a trade name for Lady Soleil, Inc. This is legally known as “doing business as” (DBA), and would represent a trademark. A lot depends on cost and complexity in the commonwealth of Virginia, but it is a possible route to explore. And I do have an awesome name up my sleeve.

In addition, I am still working on a possible Lady Soleil logo (see above), albeit one without the sun. It also includes a small tag that describes what I offer (marketing services).

Regardless, the feedback clearly made an impact and was useful.

Thank you.

15 Replies to “You Spoke, I Listened”

  1. I like this logo much better! Clean and simple. Have you considered “Soleil Marketing Services” as a name? I think the issue is the word “lady” (I love the word Soleil and its meaning). “Lady” is very feminine (obviously) and could be misconstrued, as some of the other feedback has eluded to.

    Just my 2 cents…

    1. Ah, well, I do see the issue with the Lady part of the name. I think if I depart from the name to do business as a different identity it will be a complete course change, not just a move to get rid of the Lady.

  2. Yeh, that makes sense… Don’t change the name, regardless. Some names don’t mean anything at all, and are just a cool sounding word, preferably with an Y, Z,X or C in it.
    The new(er) logo makes good sense, it totally works for me (but I’m no marketer or graphic designer).
    Again, respect for putting yourself out there. I didn’t the same thing with my initial name and logo, a good friend of mine absolutely crucified the idea.., and me. It was extremely valuable :) We’re still friends…

    Good luck man.

  3. I think the Soleil part is fine, but the Lady part does confuse things without the tagline. Maybe Soleil Marketing or something like that as a DBA. And you don’t need to change the corporate name. Did you know that the food chain Subway is operated by a corporation called Doctors Associates, Inc.? Next time you are in Subway, check out the copyright notice on the cup. :)

    1. Funny that you mention this, as I just got off the phone withe my lawyer and got the same feedback. However, it will be hard to defend the Soleil Media or Marketing TM because of existing companies like this:

      So, we’re on to a new name.

  4. With due respect to both your superb marketing skills and your daughter’s name, using “Lady Soleil” for a company name was a recipe for problems. I’m glad you’re changing it.

    Names are the most personal aspect of life – whether it’s yours, your daughter’s or your company’s. It’s incredibly difficult, and often insulting, to disparage or denigrate someone’s name to their face so what often happens is that it will occur behind the scenes. Ever since I worked for LIN Communications (a paging company), which everyone mistook for a woman’s name, I’ve been a big proponent of clear names with logos that evoke some aspect of what the company does, not necessarily the company’s name (although that’s a lot less important than the name). I changed the name of my division to Aircall.

    As you well-know, one of my first businesses was “WirelessNOW.” Since then I’ve built (and on occasion, sold) a few businesses with the word “wireless” in them – (a web site that sold phones, accessories, etc.) and GoWireless (a consulting firm that helped companies in their pursuit of cellular licenses around the world). My latest, TextPower, is a company that uses SMS in creative ways to solve common business problems. Color me boring but I like the straightforward approach.

    Lady Soleil is actually a lovely name but would never get you the kind of traction that “Enlightened Marketing” (maybe with the sun-based logo) or “Wham! Effective Marketing Services” (I’m obviously making these up on the fly). I’d expect to see the name associated with a line of razors sold on Amazon.

    Companies spend millions on this stuff and people initially laugh at the results, but eventually they stick. Think “Verizon” – a household word now that nobody seems to despise nearly as much as they did when it was announced – or “Nissan,” which everyone hated when it replaced “Datsun.”

    In short, you’re making the right move to change it now before it’s too deeply embedded in your (and your client’s/prospect’s) consciousness. I’m sure your daughter is lovely enough to remind you every day how nice “Soleil” sounds – but a better name will likely help you sell more services and provide her with the kind of lifestyle and education you want to give her.

    Just my 2 cents.

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