My big accomplishment this month: I changed my company’s name from House of Betsy to Cube Riot, so now you can find us at CubeRiot.com and as “CubeRiot” on all social media channels.
Transitioning away from something that overtly called out the Made in the USA thing (Betsy = Betsy Ross, maker of the American flag) was tricky for me. But after a lot of thought, it felt right.
I worry about the garment industry becoming “green washed” the way that the organic food movement has. For a mainstream audience, the quality and fit of the product matters most. The fact that something is made in the US or uses organic fabric is usually an added bonus, not a core feature.
I’m ridiculously passionate about creating American jobs and making consciously-made fashion a mainstream thing, but I don’t think preaching will get us there. Now that I know more about the garment industry, to me the fact that you aren’t dressed for success if an eight year old in a sweatshop made your blazer isn’t complicated. However, because there’s so little transparency in the industry, it’s an ideal that’s best implemented with a diplomatic approach for our customers rather than guilt trips. It needs to happen through our supply chain and less through our brand name.
I want the brand to be humble, to lead by example, reflect manufacturing values through the supply chain, and let other aspects of the brand’s story take center stage.
For us, those other brand elements are:
- Craftsmanship that’s as smart as our customers
- Polished, but not stuffy, clothes you can wear to work
- Strong women, strong lines, and a strong brand voice
That’s where Cube (short for cubicle) Riot came into play. I felt like it reflected this new brand direction a little better than House of Betsy. It feels indicative of a broader movement that can parlay itself into a ton of other opportunities for the brand such as acquiring Man Servants, theme parks, koozies etc. (I kid.)
Should you ever find yourself rebranding or picking a company name, these are my tips:
- We can’t all be named Brian Atwood or Amanda Uprichard. Your own name can be great for branding, especially for fashion. For me it didn’t work since my own name is tied to my marketing career already. Plus, it sounds really obviously Italian, and there isn’t a strong Italian story to tell with this company to tie it all together.
- You may have to make a word up. Embrace that. A lot of brand names are made up words (ex: Wistia, Verizon).
- Consider using Latin or Greek roots of words to make up a word that has a bigger meaning for your brand. It makes a good story.
- Use Knowem to find out if your brand name is taken or not on social media and for your URL.
- Play around with logos. Other seemingly good ideas for brand names got nixed because they looked terrible as logos and there wasn’t an obvious icon that could be created for things like clothing labels.
- Cube Riot just sounds like a fun place to work and in my gut, I really liked it. When it comes to startups, act on intuition and iterate with data.
- A lot of brands have names that would seem random out of context (Google? Blackberry? WTF?). Remember that the brand name is one aspect of the brand. The customer experience, logo, packaging, photography, marketing copy, and of course, the product, all make up the brand.
So, that’s today’s update. Here’s to one more decision made in journey of a million decisions. Stay tuned!