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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Rebranding - advice needed


I'm contemplating rebranding my product. Both versions would stay on the market. This is a niche market - I have 2 competitors, of which 1 can be taken seriously, the other one just doesn't show up in most of the google queries I show up.

My main goal is to increase market share and try new approaches without risk. My current website is onsite SEO heavy and has a very simple (but very functional) design.
My rebranded product would receive a very attractive website, heavy on marketing catchphrases and buzzwords.

This is what bothers me: most prospects looking for my product would find both versions in the same search query. Of course I'd change the design and the name, but it would be recognizeable. Is this a problem in your opinion? Will they think that one of the products is stolen or a shameless clone? How do people react when they realize they are trialing the previous product again under a different name?
Zka Send private email
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
So, you're selling the SAME product under two different skins, and pretending they're competitors of each other?  Interesting concept.  Not sure of the ethics of it.

I'm also re-branding and re-launching one of my own apps next year, but the old version is 100% retired and no longer publically available.  Just a total fresh start with a new look and new marketing approach.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Oh, and on a new website domain, too.  Not available from the old.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
What's the niche, if I may ask?

I believe this is important since not everyone finds their software via search engines... for example doctors or lawyers. So having multiple websites might not be an effective way to find users.
Sandy Wilkins Send private email
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Of course new name, new website, new everything, except the core functionality.
Niche is a small subset of graphic utilities. 50%+ arrive from search engines, the rest come from referrals (but all these referrals are listed in google top 10 for relevant keywords).
Zka Send private email
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
"Of course I'd change the design and the name, but it would be recognizeable. Is this a problem in your opinion?"

Whenever you find out that someone is hiding something, what's your reaction?

IMHO, anything which relies on people not finding out the truth about something they can easily work out is bound to fail.

On a more positive note, there might be a better solution to solve the issue:

It sound to me that you want to reach a different audience without hurting your current audience. From your post, I gather that there is an audience which likes the no frills, functional aspect of your offering (functional website, straight to the point, etc.) and you are wondering if you aren't missing out on the big buyers who can't live without tons of pretty pixels, the marketing gibberish and site licenses, etc.

The usual solution to this problem is market segmentation. You can have an "enterprise version" or whatever sounds good to that audience and create a special website for these very special people. Add a couple features especially for that new version, chosen for how fancy/important they sound, and stick a new price tag on it.

Unless your product has gotten a bad reputation, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me to scrap everything and restart marketing from scratch with the same product on a different website.
Sylvain Galibert Send private email
Thursday, December 26, 2013

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