Out with the Old, in with the New: Inside a Company Rebrand - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Out with the Old, in with the New: Inside a Company Rebrand

Rebranding is a tricky business, especially if customers are familiar with your company’s name, but sometimes it is necessary.

CM’s Outdoor Solutions Group, based in Omaha, Nebraska, went through a rebrand last year when they decided their former name no longer reflected the breadth of their service offerings.

“Our previous name was CM’s A Cut Above, which came from the merger of two companies: CM’s Custom Lawn & Landscape and A Cut Above Landscaping,” says Bobby Byers, landscape designer and marketing coordinator for CM’s. “While CM’s A Cut Above combined the ‘meat’ of the previous companies, it did not communicate our industry or service offerings to the marketplace.”

Additionally, while the company started as a mowing service over 30 years ago, they now handle comprehensive tree care, irrigation, concrete, decks and pergolas, landscape maintenance, and lighting (both landscape and holiday). CM’s also became the exclusive regional dealer for Greenworks Commercial two years ago.

“We not only sell their products but have also outfitted two of our crews with all-battery equipment, letting us differentiate as a more environmentally friendly option,” Byers says. “We didn’t feel that ‘Lawn & Landscape’ adequately communicated all of our current service offerings or was flexible enough to encompass future service lines or products we may add as we continue to grow.”

Byers says they also happened to be rebuilding their website at the time, so it was a good time to unveil the new brand along with the new site.

The Rebranding Process

Byers says they handled the rebranding in phases. The first phase coincided with the website rebuild and lasted about two months. The company hired a professional to rebuild the website. Byers says they were instrumental in constructing the new brand and there was a lot of collaboration.

“We knew we wanted to keep ‘CM’s,’ as well as our blue color — both are synonymous with the brand that we’ve built over the past 30 years,” Byers says. “We also wanted to create a name specific enough for customers to know all we do and broad enough to capture future endeavors. We went through a few concepts, but once we got rolling, it went smoothly.”

The first announcements went out February 2019. Byers says the only real issue they encountered during the rebrand was from the URL change.

“Previously it was cmscustomlawn.com,” Byers says. “We wanted to change this to align with the new brand, so we migrated to cmsoutdoor.com. With all of the changes happening in short order and Google’s propensity to deter people from cheating the SEO game, our Google My Business listing got flagged. It took about 3 weeks to be resolved, which slowed the progress we had been making in SEO.”

Changing the uniforms, business cards, flyers and other distributables was the next step. Byers says the employee response to changing the brand was positive. It has generated enthusiasm and they all received gear with a fresh new look.

Rebranding the company fleet has been the most expensive undertaking. Byers says they will be finished with that aspect by the end of July.

Byers’s advice for others who are considering a rebrand is to have a vision of who you are now and what you want to be going forward.

“It will help guide your decisions about whether or not to rebrand — and if so, to what extent,” he says.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.