Hey everyone 👋, I’m Jeremiah, the new Head of Marketing here at Lemonpie (still feels weird writing it!).
One of my first projects when I joined Be My Guest a few months ago was to completely rebrand the company, with the help of our team.
It was a fun, but daunting project. Fun, because of all the potential. Daunting, because this company is Erik (founder) and Jonathan’s (co-founder) baby.
They’ve bootstrapped this business from the ground up, and have a good thing going. Customers are actively typing in “be my guest” (or variations of it) to find us. People refer us to others on Twitter. So yeah, changing that is kind of a big deal.
I thought I’d write this for past customers, current customers, and other founders/marketers who’d like a peek behind the scenes of the rebrand process. My hope is you’ll find it helpful for your companies, or at least find it interesting.
A few reasons.
But the biggest was: Be My Guest just didn’t fit what we had grown into.
When Erik and Jonathan started Be My Guest, the company only offered 1 service: podcast tours. To be clear, that’s still one of our most sought after services. But since then, we’ve added internal production to help companies communicate with their teams through podcasting; branded podcasts to help companies create shows their audience will love; and sonic branding to help clients create a logo for their customer’s ears.
And we’ll likely add more services in the future.
I want to say at the beginning of this article, that a ton of how we think about branding has been influenced by Seth Godin’s article here. I’ll reference a lot of points I deeply believe, but just know they either come directly from Seth, or are inspired by him.
In that article, he points out that the reason Nike, Starbucks, or Basecamp are all great names, is because they can add more products/services, and the name still “makes sense.”
Amazon is a great name. “E-Bookstore” wouldn’t have been.
Bottom line - Be My Guest was a great name for a while, but it was time to create a brand that could stand for everything we did, or would do, not just one thing.
Apple, Lululemon, and Nike don’t make sense - until they do.
If most of you had a friend who was starting a yoga clothing company, and told you they wanted to call it “lululemon”, you’d probably tell them it’s a terrible name.
Seth makes the point that ultimately, a brand name is just a peg, on which people hang values. No matter how weird it sounds at first, once customers interact with your product or service, they begin to hang values on it.
That’s the biggest truth I’ve come to believe about branding: that the name just needs to be a memorable, catch-all word. Customers will associate what you do with it, on their own.
When “Lemonpie” sounded too strange or random, I reflected on my own behavior as a customer. What I found was, I didn’t blink at working with companies like Stripe to handle my payment processing, Apple, to make my laptop, or Amazon, to send me puppy toys. In fact, not only did I not care… but I found myself thinking “those companies couldn’t be named anything different.”
So here was the truth I found: if I didn’t give a 2nd thought to the “weirdness” of names like Starbucks, Google, Nike, Twilio, Huckberry, Plaid, Zapier, and Privy, then nobody would for Lemonpie. The names work because we assign value to them.
Nike is clothing and footwear for athletes. Huckberry is handpicked, sturdy goods for weekend warriors. Twilio is easy SMS integration for your software product. Those are values I hang on those brands. The name is just a peg that holds them.
#1 - It’s different.
Our industry is filled with “cast” or audio related names. We found that boring, and wanted to be different. Really different.
#2 - It’s memorable.
I first read “Lemonpie” in Seth’s article. He suggested it would be a great name for a scuba company. I never forgot it. It was my “go to” example of how branding worked.
So when we needed something different and memorable, I thought of Lemonpie, and couldn’t believe that nobody had used it.
#3 - It was available.
You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) how many names are taken. And I don’t mean by 1 company. I mean by dozens. With Lemonpie, we could get the .fm domain, and we couldn’t find any other major companies using it.
For other ideas we had, there were other software products, or marketing companies in different spaces using it.
#4 - Why not Lemonpie?
Given our belief on branding (above), the better question to ask is: why not Lemonpie?
I should say, my favorite names are the broad ones that still give an illustration of the company. Basecamp is where you meet with your team, get your stuff together, and go out for the trek. The Amazon has the largest diversity of animals. I love that those are pictures of what the company does.
But for us, everything just felt played out. So we went the “Apple” ( = name that makes no sense) route, rather than the Basecamp ( = illustrative of the product) route.
Being resourceful is core to our culture here. We DIY everything we can, where it makes sense.
For this project, it meant building our own website, writing our own copy, and securing our own graphics. We knew our website would change in the years to come, and that it was important for us to write our own copy in our unique voice.
We tried to tackle the branding (logo, color palette, and typography) we just didn’t have that in our wheelhouse.
While searching designers, we found Unfold, and it was love at first sight.
We worked with them to craft a brand that we could use for years to come. I highly recommend checking them out if you’re looking at a rebrand or refresh for your company.
I’ve always been a fan of good copy, but copy-heavy companies like Basecamp or Drift inspired me to focus more on headlines for our new site.
This article is getting pretty long, so feel free to check out the site yourself and see what you think. We don’t claim to be copywriting pros, we just want our site to:
So, there you have it. Be My Guest is now Lemonpie, and we help brands grow through podcasting.
If you’re a customer, we’re the same hard-working, creative, fun team you know. Thank you for your support and trust, we don’t take it lightly. We’re excited to serve you even better in the years to come.
If you’re not a customer, but want to see what podcasting can do for your business - hit us up, we’d love to chat with you and learn more about your goals.
If you’re a founder or marketer, hopefully this little behind the scenes look was interesting, informative, or inspiring for you.
Now that our rebrand is complete, we’ll be using social media to try and bring you the most value possible.
That means not talking about ourselves very much, and sharing tips from top brands, strategies, thought leadership, behind the scenes articles/videos (like this), and more.
We'd love to meet you.