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Lawn & Landscape Staff | December 4, 2013

The rebranding plunge

When a competitor had the same name as Taylor Milliken’s growing company, he made the bold move to start fresh with a new identity.

Since it was first established in Hendersonville, a city North of Nashville, 11 years ago, Elite Landscape Co. has built strong brand recognition around the Nashville area for quality service and work.

Elite’s signature red leaf logo is easy to spot on roadways and lawns all around the greater Nashville area. But owner Taylor Milliken decided he had to take a big risk … and to make one of his toughest business decisions ever, to ensure his company’s future growth.

Elite’s growth has been impressive since its birth in 2002 – serving four times as many customers as it did just three years ago. But as Elite branched out into new markets, Milliken’s research showed his wasn’t the only landscape company operating under the “Elite” name.  A competitor just over the state line in Kentucky was using the same name, and as Milliken’s customer base expanded, he felt there was bound to be confusion for consumers.

“You’re going to run up against one of two problems” Milliken says. “Either you’re going to be competing against a great company with an established brand presence, or worse, one that’s got a bad reputation, with poor service and poor quality.

“The customer shouldn’t have to decipher which is which,” he says. “You have to be one of kind.”

Milliken’s goal was clear from the beginning: find a unique name that would pass the test not only in the region, but across the country. He resolved to come up with a new company name in just two weeks.

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