Was 2018 not such a great business year for you? 2019 can be different! How about rebranding?

Zandile Mboshane shares her story about rebranding her business after its failure some years back.

This Motherland Mogul started a hair-care business, BlkSapphire, in 2014 which failed due to lack of funding amidst other challenges. She closed down the business and went back into corporate but felt unfulfilled.

Earlier this year, she decided to retry and rebrand the business under the name Hairmatology.

She tells us how she dealt with the discouragement of the failure with the first brand, how she overcame the fear of trying again and how she went about with the rebranding.

Zandile holds a B.Sc in Chemical Engineering from Wits University and describes herself as a truth seeker, “If God saw it fit to number our hairs, then there must be significance in it”, she explains her love for hair-care.

She is currently refining her product offerings and soon we will be seeing her hair-care products under the new branding.


“It really is better to try and fail than to live in fear of “what if” I fail again” – Zandile Mboshane

After being disappointed in business with BlkSapphire, what made you re-open and rebrand?

After my business failure, I decided to go back to work. I got a job as a candidate patent attorney but the reality was I was bored and my heart wasn’t in the work I was doing.

At the end of last year, I left that job without having much of a plan in place. I decided to try again at the business.

Tell us about Hairmatology, and how it is different from BlkSapphire.

The name Hairmatology is derived from the word ‘haematology’, meaning the study of disorders of the blood.

I decided to be specific in terms of what my business is about. Hairmatology is a scalp and hair-care specialist business.

My business mantra is, “Beauty from the inside out”, helping one attain healthy hair from the inside out. The difference between BlkSapphire and Hairmatology is actually more of a mindset shift than anything else.

What I’ve realized is that emotional detachment from the business goes a long way when it comes to making rational wise business decisions that move the business forward.

Having a brand name that speaks to what the business is about, helps to establish one’s brand identity in the marketplace - @ZandileMboshane Click To Tweet

Take us through the process of rebranding. What steps did you take?

Part of me didn’t want to let go of the name BlkSapphire, so initially, I decided to change only the BlkSapphire logo.

I had the logo redesigned but I was unhappy with it. I then thought about changing the name. A friend of mine told me that my intention to change the name to Hairmatology was the right move because the hair-care market is highly competitive to the point of saturation, so having a brand name that speaks to what the business is about without having to explain it helps to establish one’s brand identity in the marketplace.

I went ahead with the name change with the CIPC and applied for a trademark (that’s still pending). I then used my creative talents to design the new logo.

When you fail at something, your confidence takes a knock. Rebranding for me was a process of rebuilding my self-esteem and confidence -@ZandileMboshane Click To Tweet

What challenges can one expect when rebranding and what has been your biggest challenge?

The challenge for a lot of start-up entrepreneurs is the lack of awareness when it comes to protecting their intellectual property.

A lot of entrepreneurs disclose their innovations without having the right protection in place be it in the form of a trademark, design or patent.

Emotional attachment to the old name was a challenge for me, it took some work to let go. My biggest challenge though was overcoming doubt and fear.

When you fail at something, your confidence takes a knock, so the rebranding was also a process of rebuilding my self-esteem and confidence in my creative talents and abilities.

...rebranding is the starting point of rebuilding the business. Click To Tweet

What has rebranding taught you about creating a great brand?

It has taught me not to despise small steps of progress. Ultimately big successes are achieved through the cumulative effect of incremental steps of success.

There’s a part of me that wanted to say to myself that all you did this year externally in the business was rebrand but I had to remind myself that this is the starting point of rebuilding the business.

Any lessons you have learned from the failure of BlkSapphire?

BlkSapphire was a labour of love but I wasn’t strategic and aggressive enough when it came to pursuing opportunities to drive sales.

The biggest lesson was definitely learning to overcome fear so I could try again. I had to learn to trust in my abilities again and learn how to fail forward.

It really is better to try and fail rather than live in fear of “what if” I fail again.

How has rebranding positively impacted your business?

It’s brought about a clarity of purpose and a focused vision of what the business is all about. I’m still working on refining my product offerings so that they exceed the customer’s expectations.

At this point, I can’t measure the value of the rebranding on a monetarily but three years from now, measured from the point of rebranding, I’ll be able to measure the impact of rebranding by comparing it to the three years I ran the business as BlkSapphire.

 

If you had to dye your hair, which color would it be?

Platinum blonde! I think that the contrast between my dark skin and the hair color would look great, plus I’m looking forward to the day when I’m completely grey!


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