Why we rebranded: answers to your 6 most common questions

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It’s been a couple of weeks since we changed our brand name from GraphicDesignBlender.com to Millo.

Personally, our team has loved the change. I mean, can you imagine all the time we save every day by typing “millo” instead of “GraphicDesignBlender”?

But aside from just being quicker to type, there are a few things we’re really loving about the new brand (and we hope you are too.)

As with any rebranding, there have been quite a few questions from many of you who have been following this site for so long.

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The 6 most common questions you asked us about rebranding to Millo.

Today, I’d like to answer the 6 most common questions we received from you in the Millo Mastermind Group and comments on our announcement post when making the switch.

Feel free to post more questions in the comments. I promise I’ll respond to every single one.

In no particular order…

Question 1: Which font did you use on the new Millo logo?

It’s a modified version of “Another Shabby” font.

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Here’s what it looks like just typed out vs. designed with the modifications:

millo redesigned

Also, just for fun, here are a few more options we played with before finally landing on the version we’re sporting now.

I think we made the right choice.

millo options

 

Even though designing the logo was not the hardest part of the rebrand, there definitely was some pressure associated with it since the Millo audience is packed full of so many talented designers and illustrators.

I’m happy with the final outcome. We hope you are too.

Question 2: How did you decide on “Millo”?

Oh boy, where do I even start on this one?

First of all, I have been itching to update our brand for a long time. We’re not talking weeks or months. We’re talking years.

In fact, about a year and a half ago, I called in to one of my favorite podcasts by the guys at Fizzle (episode 31) and asked them about the whole idea and the process around it.

They were kind enough to motivate me to do it.

But I soon learned that motivation was just part of the question.

Next came the dreadful task of actually picking a name.

If you’ve never done it, it’s really really hard. I mean, terribly, awfully difficult.

So bad that at some point, I had named it, hated it, started over, quit again, gave up, considered quitting altogether, and every emotion in between. It was a long couple of years.

Every time my toddlers said something interesting, I jotted it down. Everytime I read a word that could work, heard a concept that could be a URL, or read a random Dr. Suess book, I would get ideas.

My brain was always on. The task was a 24/7 job. It was impossible to escape.

I counted: I have 85+ domain names that I considered. All available, but none of them perfect.

You can ask April (Millo’s trusty, so very helpful and loyal Content Manager): I “decided” on at least 2 other brand names before I landed on Millo.

In fact, I was ready to pull the trigger on a few of them, but never felt fully lit up about them–which was the problem I was having with “Graphic Design Blender.”

On top of it all, I was paranoid that I was going to choose another name like “Graphic Design Blender” that would become outdated in 3-5 years depending on how our content and audience transforms.

I was afraid. I admit it.

I was afraid I would continue to build something that was only 60% of what I dreamed it could be–all because of a weak brand name.

To be honest, I don’t remember exactly where the word “Millo” came from.

I wish it had some amazing story (if I were a band, I would make a reason up for press appearances) but it doesn’t.

I guess I like that a little bit. Because it means that you, me, and the whole Millo team can define exactly what Millo is moving forward. It’s up to us. That excites me.

And I never felt that way about “Graphic Design Blender” as a name/brand.

Question 3: How did you have the courage to make the switch?

Just like any major decision, it was less about having the courage and more about not being able to live with the alternative.

For those of you who have started a business or even quit your day job, you can probably recall the feeling.

It’s that moment when you can’t see yourself not running a business.

You can’t picture yourself happy at your desk for one more day.

That’s how I felt about Millo. I couldn’t picture myself building Millo for another 5 years and being happy about it. I had to make a change. And now, I wake up every day excited about a million ideas I’ve got floating around for the future of Millo and the Millo audience.

PS: we need a name for the Millo audience. Something catchy. If you’ve got an idea, leave it in the comments. 🙂

Question 4: Why Millo exactly?

That’s a great question. And one I can’t answer 100%.

The thing about creativity is it’s not an exact science.

You know what I mean: imagine if someone asked you “why that shade of blue exactly?”

You don’t know. You just know that it feels right.

I’m not sure why I went with Millo in the end. It just felt right creatively. From the comments I’ve received from all of you, I think I was right.

Question 5: How do you pronounce it?

Is it “mee-loh” or “my-low” or what?

To clear it all up, it’s pronounced “millow”–it rhymes with pillow.

If you’re still not sure, you can hear me pronounce it in this video.

Question 6: Is that your office or a stock photo?

Most people were referring to the image below when asking this question: “is that your new office?”

milloco

Sadly, no it’s not.

Not yet, anyway. 🙂 One day, I hope Millo becomes a big enough resource that we need a cool space and a few employees.

For now, we’re a really tight remote team. (Shout out to the Millo team. I would die without you guys.)

A few other questions you had:

Q: What’s the new domain?
A: Millo.co

Q: Are you creating entirely new social channels for Millo?
A: Nope. No need to. You’ll notice our twitter handle, linkedin page, and facebook page URL have already changed.

Q: Will we have to re subscribe to the newsletters etc?
A: Nope. We also updated everything. You may have noticed the new Millo email template. (If you’re not subscribed, click here to join us.)

Q: Seems like a made up word for the sake of making up a word.
A: It is, sort of. Definitely made up. But not just for the sake of making up a word. We want to build a brand that we can define. Therefore we chose a word that had very little pre-existing connotation.

Q: It would be great if you could share your strategy on how to make a brand change and give examples of brands who have done so and the thinking put into it!
A: A great idea. I have it on the list, but it may take a while. 🙂

Q: How close does the Millo logo look like Melitta?
A: Hmm. You’re right. It does resemble it a bit. As a non-coffee-drinker who’s never been to Europe, I’ll have to chalk this one up to sheer coincidence. 🙂

illovmelitta

Any other questions?

I hope I was able to answer some of your biggest questions around our rebrand.

I’m personally very excited to have you along for the ride as we all make Millo what it will be in the coming years.

Thanks for all your support. We couldn’t do any of this without you!

PS: Here’s the video we posted on the day we rebranded. Maybe it’ll answer a few more questions around “why” we made the choices we did.

Huge changes at Millo today. For starters, you’ll get redirected to http://millo.co. Here are a few more details:

Posted by GraphicDesignBlender on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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About Preston D Lee

Preston is an entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, and the founder of this blog. You can contact him via twitter at @prestondlee.

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Comments

  1. I personally love the new name and rebrand, Preston! I think you’re headed in the right direction with things. Keep it up!

  2. Preston, I think you did a great job. Although I loved Millo, I see your point. Cheers to Millo and the Milloers! 🙂

  3. Patrick Burnett says:

    I know how hard it was to come up with the new name and not to pee on anyone’s parade, but I really liked graphic design blender, personally. It sounded fun and entertaining instead of generic and serious. It’s hard enough to run a freelance design business, I look for opportunities to relate to others doing what we do with humor. Admittedly, since the rebrand, I have read less and less of your offerings. It seems to get lost in the email blitz everyday, unlike Millo and its bright orange icon. Just my 2 cents.

    • Patrick,
      I really appreciate the honesty. The fun of Millo is (I hope) that we can make it whatever we want it to be. We hope to keep a bit of the fun we built up with Millo. Thanks for sticking with us! 🙂

  4. Richard Cote says:

    A good idea to toss out the word “blender” from the old name, but the new name — and especially the logo — evoke an image of some Italian maker of coffee paraphernalia.

    • Thanks, Richard. We went from “blender” to “coffee maker.” Maybe I should eat next time before I work on a new brand. 😉 (See the final question above.)http://millo.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/illovmelitta.png

      • Sharon Clarke says:

        It’s actually the “illy” coffee brand that came to mind when I saw your new logo! Never mind us lot, we’ll get used to it! I did like the cheekiness of the Millo logo though, must admit . . . but I trust your judgement! You’ve obviously got plans that necessitated the change 😉 Very best wishes!

  5. Good luck! And the Millo audience is “of course” Millonials 🙂

  6. Congratulations on the rebranding. I am so happy that you went through with it. The new name broadens the audience and makes it easier for me to share your URL and posts with colleagues who are not “GD’s.” I think the Millo.co followers should be the “millions.”

  7. Tim Woodruff says:

    I think the name change is a definite improvement. Nice Work. Our name should be: Millors

  8. Yes, I think you’ve made the right choice, I also prefer this option for your logo! Good luck with your new bigger plans! I always smile when I find your newsletter in my inbox. And because positive thinking has a lot of power, a good name for Millo’s audience would be “the mill-ionaire designers”!

    • Mania,
      Thanks for the kind words. Great suggestion on the name. 🙂 You actually reminded me that (since I speak fluent spanish) I did like the hint at millonarios (millionaires in spanish). Thanks for the memory jog. 🙂

  9. Bryce Roberts says:

    How did you get Facebook to change your URL with out recreating a new page?

    • Great question, Bryce. If you go to http://facebook.com/username you can change your page’s URL. You can only do this once per page.

      To change the actual name (the part that appears next to the profile picture all over facebook, I had to contact customer service. It was approved, but there’s a two week delay. Should change any minute now. 🙂

      Thinking about doing this yourself?

      • Bryce Roberts says:

        Yea I went to school for Game Design and started to do graphic design when I couldn’t break in to the Game industry all of my branding else ware says digital artist but my url has 3d in it I have been wanting to get rid of it for a while.

  10. hdc77494 says:

    If you were a consumer products company marketing to tens of millions it might make sense to brand yourself with a meaningless name that you could build a brand around, but you’re not. You’re a niche brand with a specific target market of mostly professionals, yet your brand is now a meaningless word. The fact that two weeks in you’re having to waste time explaining the change, that you can’t remember the origin of the word, can’t articulate it’s meaning or value, and the reality that you changed it simply because you got tired of the old one tells me you made a serious mistake. If Millo is your brand, what does it stand for? What’s that word supposed to mean for all of us, your readers? We follow you because we have a degree of trust in where you’re taking us, but since you haven’t shared your vision, the message I’m getting is that you don’t know where this is going any more. My confidence is eroding and I don’t want it to! Come on Preston, show some leadership! Best wishes.

    • Hey, hdc77494–if that’s even you’re real name. 😉
      Thanks for the honest feedback. I really appreciate it.
      I’ve actually never been clearer on the mission and direction of this site.
      The old name was holding us back, forcing us to produce content and products tailored only to graphic designers. With the rebrand, we’re now able to serve so many more audiences in the same way we’ve served designers over the past 6 years.
      Millo stands for the exact same things Millo stood for and will now have potential to impact so many more lives than it did before.
      If you’d like to join us for the ride, I’d love to have you. If not, I wish you the best.

      • hdc77494 says:

        Preston, I’ve been a follower for quite a while, and I have no intention of leaving. I’m glad you have a vision, but since the branding change all I’ve heard is you are adding content to appeal to a broader readership. I’m not a troll and I’m not being sarcastic. I’m just a regular reader who doesn’t know what the changes mean for me. I know it’s not an attaboy pat on the back, but if readers don’t tell you what we’re hearing, you don’t know.

        • hdc77494,
          I’d really like to know your name. Would you share it with me? 🙂

          And thank you for your support. I’m excited to hear you’re sticking with us.

          I wasn’t expecting an “attaboy” from anyone on this. I’m glad you’re being honest about how you feel about the rebrand.

          I’m just not sure what you’d like me to say. The changes don’t mean a TON for you yet. We’ll still keep providing top-notch business tips for creatives 100% free of charge.

          Eventually, the new brand will allow us to do things we’ve not been able to before, but I’m not sharing any plans yet since they’re not solidified.

          Sorry if that doesn’t satisfy your concern. If you can shoot me some specific questions, I will do my best to answer.

          Thanks!

  11. QhueCreative says:

    Great article. I love the name and overall motivation to rebrand. I’ve been thinking the same for quite sometime and also branding a new side project with the lessons learnt from narrowing my initial brand. Also, I am a little surprised with the Millo logo/type. It is a good (probably even great) logo, but I was expecting something better to be honest. I feel the choppy marker feel to it, already dates the design. Maybe making a completely custom type would’ve been the better approach. But, then again, what do I know. You guys are killing it and know tons more than me.

    • QhueCreative (who am I really talking to here? I’d love to address you by your name),
      Thanks for the support and honest feedback.
      Interesting thoughts on the logo. We wanted something incredibly simple but maybe we missed the mark. We’ll keep it for now and see how it goes. 🙂

      • QhueCreative says:

        Sorry Preston. Logged in with my business account. My name is Quincy. But you can all me Q-slice. Ha.

        As for the logo/type design, I cannot say you missed the mark. I just wasn’t personally thrilled by it. I love that you rebranded and changed the name, and well really everything else. It’s superb.

        Obvs, that you will keep the logo and really your content is what brings me back. Not your logo, unless your logo was horrendous, which it is NOT.

        Cheers,
        Q-slice.

  12. Millonians… Millotants… Millicious… Marshmillos… Milloites…

  13. John Allen says:

    Hey Preston! I’ve been following Millo and now Millo for around a year. When you announced your new name I thought I had seen that name before but I couldn’t remember for sure where. The other day though I found it. Believe it or not I was reading my Bible and I found it again. Millo is found nine times in the Bible (KJV) and was actually a citadel in the city of Jerusalem. This will tell you more about it.
    http://goo.gl/uL2B1p

    • Very observant of you, @disqus_LP3ruVKbYy:disqus! I had noticed the connection as well. Thanks for the wikipedia link. 🙂

      • John Allen says:

        It is rather interesting. So you say you had already made the connection? I don’t know how but with your great creative abilities and perhaps with a little bit of research I’m sure you could use that to your advantage; perhaps even a deeper marketing avenue.

  14. I LOVE it! Looked like so much fun rebranding the logo. #LogoJunkie

  15. We can be “Millowers” like followers… Sorry if it’s been mentioned, my electricity went out and can’t read all the comments right now 🙁

  16. I don’t expect an answer because this is an old post, but the logo is changed again. When did that happen?

    Personally, the one in this post is better.

    Anyway, I also wanted to mention I stopped reading the blogs because there was a popup that would come up and I couldn’t close it – because I’m viewing on an iphone 4 and the pop was bigger than the screen so I would never be able to close it.

    Irony of the whole thing was I think the post was talking about intrusive design lol. Man that made me laugh.

    Anyway, yeah old post so I don’t expect a reply but I know you’ll see this 🙂

    Cheers

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  1. […] It’s been less than 6 months since Graphic Design Blender became Millo.co. You can read all about our rebranding process in this post: “Why we rebranded: answers to your 6 most common questions” […]

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