Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Having 2 Business Names?

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  • #997086
    ABW
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    • Total posts: 8
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    Hi All,

    Been doing some research and came across this forum. Very informative and hope I can get some advice.

    My business partner and I started up a partnership at the end of last year. We’ve called ourselves AusBody Works and import car’s cosmetic parts from Taiwan and US.

    So far we’ve been doing ok with sales from our various channels (FB, Shopify store, ebay, Gumtree) that have their up and downs, but overall been keeping a constant revenue for the last 6 months.

    We’ve just started to partner up with a new supplier from Europe called Maxton Design and this is where we face our new dilemma. Maxton has agreed for us to use the name Maxton Design Australia to represent them here in Australia. They are a pretty known in the car community in Europe and UK.

    I’ve registered the name Maxton Design Australia now, but I’m not sure if we should rebrand our whole company or keep trading in both names.

    We want to keep our original business name because:

    • ABW is starting to be recognised in the community
    • Website, design, logos, promotional things (banners, stickers etc) all based on ABW
    • 2 separate type of products. Our original stock imported from TW/US vs Maxton stock

    Advantages of rebranding to Maxton:

    • Maxton Design already a good name
    • They already have a lot of videos/promotional things I can use and leverage off
    • Easier to promote 1 name

    Hoping to get some thoughts and what the experts think. Any help is appreciated.

    Also, some feedback on our online store would be great too http://www.ausbodyworks.com.au

    Thanks!
    Steve

    #1210328
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
    Keymaster
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    Welcome aboard the forums Steve!

    Can you run it as two branches and get the pros of both?

    By the way, congrats on your success so far. I especially like this part…

    ABW, post: 251000, member: 100308 wrote:
    So far we’ve been doing ok with sales from our various channels (FB, Shopify store, ebay, Gumtree)

    A lot of new biz starters ask which channel should they should use to sell their product, but your biz shows that often the answer is ALL OF THEM and see what works. Nice work!

    Dave

    #1210329
    ABW
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    • Total posts: 8
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    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    My current thought is to run it as both but then thinking about the disadvantages:
    – Customers getting confused whose who
    – Not sure if I want to start a new website to separate the both. Right now the new one just has a section in my current website. But I did register a new domain name.
    – Advertising and promotion for 2 names instead of one might be tricky.
    – Double the cost of stickers, banners, emails etc

    I guess the main thing I wanted to avoid was customer confusions. Some times it’s already hard enough to get a sale let alone giving them more things to ask about haha.But then again, not sure if this is really a bad thing.

    Cheers,
    Steve

    #1210330
    StudioS
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    • Total posts: 25
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    Hi ABW,

    Would ABW and Maxton be selling different types of products, or servicing different channels? If so, you may want to keep them as 2 separate brands of your business, as opposed to re-branding your business. Kind of like Unilever is the corporate brand which owns other brands like Dove, Lux, Streets etc etc. Each of these brands have their own marketing, website and registered names.

    So my suggestion is perhaps creating a corporate brand for your business and having ABW and Maxton as their individual brands under the corporate brand. Your corporate brand can very well be ABW, and then use something like ‘powered by ABW’ for the Maxton products. Or ‘in partnership with ABW’ etc. You get the idea.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Shirley

    #1210331
    ABW
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    • Total posts: 8
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    Hi Shirley,

    Thanks for the feedback. The 2 brands both sell similar equipment, but the Maxton items will be branded Maxton.

    Yeah, I think I will be going down the route of keeping 2 names and I do like the idea of having ‘powered by ABW’.

    Thanks for the advise!

    Cheers,
    Steve

    #1210332
    elissa.doxey
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    • Total posts: 145
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    Hi Steve,
    It sounds like, from an ownership perspective, you’re better off keeping your own brand and promoting it as the only outlet for Maxton in Australia – and then having the Maxton domain name point back to your ABW site.
    Important to think about considerations down the track if Maxton end the partnership, etc. Plus, having it under AWB might open up other opportunities for exclusive supplier rights for other brands.

    Site looks good, by the way. I’m not a huge fan of text that goes across the entire width of a page, as it tends to lose a reader’s focus, but that’s about my only criticism.

    Elissa

    #1210333
    ABW
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    • Total posts: 8
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    Hi Elissa,

    Thanks for that. Good point – I didn’t think about what could happen to the partnership with Maxton down the line!

    Cheers,
    Steve

    #1210334
    StudioS
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    • Total posts: 25
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    [USER=100308]@ABW[/USER] Good luck! Hope it works out :-)

    #1210335
    Happysoloflyer
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    You’ve done a great job branding ABW and the website looks great. If the sales are going well and the brand is starting to establish itself, it would make sense to just position it as the importer/distributor/representative of Maxton in Australia. Depending on the agreement you have with them, you could put their logo on the website and all letterheads/invoices saying that you are the exclusive Australian distributor. This will give your business some added cred and potentially put you in the focus of other manufacturers. But make sure you have a contract with Maxton and possibly trademark their name in Aus (or get them to do it and use you as their IP Aus rep)
    But if you think Maxton is a far bigger and well known brand than yours, then consider selling 100% under their brand and shut down ABW or run it as another business.
    Note:
    >> reg Maxton as a business name
    >> reg maxtondesigns .au domain name
    >> trademark Maxton
    >> exclusive distribution agreement with Maxton
    >> do not invest $ in someone else’s brand unless you have most of the above secured for yourself.

    #1210336
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,488
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    Welcome to the Forums [USER=42910]@Happysoloflyer[/USER] – thank you for your input!

    Cheers

    #1210337
    Adam Martelletti
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    • Total posts: 47
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    If Maxton is someone else brand I would be staying away from it as a business name, Do they already own the trademark on that name, If the agreement falls through you will need to hand it over to them as they could claim it as Intellectual Property. Always best to build your own brand and not someone else for a long term goal.

    #1210338
    JacquiPryor
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    I wouldn’t usually encourage registration of an overseas supplier’s brand unless you have permission to do so (as a trademark)… An exclusive distributorship agreement would be great if they are prepared to sign one with you.. then make the most of representing their brand via your own website. You could still make use of the marketing materials and of their name, in accordance with the agreement, without having to run an entirely separate ‘business’ for it.

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