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Encore Romance Travel — An unexpected change

We all know entrepreneurship is a huge roller coaster, as the newbie of the group I’ve learned that in order to refine my niche, mission statement and marketing mix I have to go with the flow. The first couple of years have been all about watching and listening to prospects and the reaction they have to my business.

I specialize in romance travel, I do many bridal shows to attract new customers and most of them are millennials. Due to their age, millennials are not familiar with the services a travel consultant can provide for them.  During last year’s bridal show season it became obvious to me that I needed to change something in my business plan.  When I exhibited at shows, my banner “Encore Destination Weddings & Honeymoons,” was always prominently displayed. For a while I could not understand why I was not getting the foot traffic I expected; and then I started to ask questions.  Many times I heard, “I’m not having a destination wedding” and they would walk away before I could ever explain. They never thought about the honeymoon part and how it related to my travel services.

I decided that I needed to think about how I could make it easy for prospects to understand what I did in 30 seconds or less—upon first impression. I came to the conclusion that I needed to change my name and make it easy to understand. I chose Encore Romance Travel. I kept the same Encore name (which was important to me), the same colors, and the same layout in my logo but I wanted it to look a bit friendlier and a little less “destination wedding” centric.

At the beginning of this year I had my logo re-worked and I’m very happy with it. I also purchased a new domain that includes the word “travel” (in hopes that it would help with SEO); but now the hard part begins. I have to update all the marketing collateral I already have with the new logo. I have to update the website and migrate it to the new domain. This process terrifies me as I feel like I will have to start working on my SEO all over again.  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed about making the change, I just don’t know what to expect and not to mention, the money it will cost to reprint everything I already have.

I need help! Can you guys give me any advice on how to transition? Have you ever gone through a re-brand? Did your website rankings suffer? Were you’re customers and prospects confused? 

Brenda Llamas Young is the owner of Encore Romance Travel which specializes in weddings and honeymoons to exotic beaches to include the South Pacific, Asia, Australia, Indian and African Coast. Brenda entered the travel industry in 2009 and after two years of education, opened her own home based agency.

  4 thoughts on “Encore Romance Travel — An unexpected change

  1. Jeni Chaffer says:

    After spending years building my clientbase of my first agency, I rebranded and started over…went home based, new name, new target market…built that for 2 years, finally getting things rolling again…moved 2x, website hacked, clientlist lost…so here we go again. There are two main ingredients in rebranding and rebuilding…time and money. It is expensive to re-print everything, esp. at once while it’s bridal show season, but it is a necessary evil. It will take time to re-build your SEO numbers and online exposure too, but investing time into your social media presence will pay off quickly.

  2. Brenda says:

    Thanks Jeni, wow, I admire you for hanging in there so many people would have quit already. I love what I do and I know it will take time and money, what I lack the most is patience though…Thanks for stopping by and sharing you’re story!

  3. Barbara Oliver says:

    I had a similar experience as you so I too have gone through a rebrand. The great thing about this target market is a) they really don’t read – so that fact that you’ve kept Encore will make it an easier transition and b) the “life cycle” of the bridal market means it’s constantly turning over so you probably won’t take as big a hit as you think you might.

    I am not an seo guru – but I am sure you have already thought to keep your old domain and just put in a redirect to your new site. Then make sure that the brides can find you on some of the wedding sites and you should be fine.

  4. Brenda says:

    Barbara, thank you, I agree with you. Since it’s just a name change I hope I can pass it off without much notice. Thanks for sharing!

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