With our previous post, OUT OF CHAOS, COMES ORDER, we sprung the news about rebranding the J+L Apothecary name with the JÖL. This was not an easy nor quick decision. Like any sort of change, it can lead to confusion and a misunderstanding. In this post, we will go into the details behind why we made this change.
Reason #1: Possible future legal Issues
Although we have not been contacted by any party concerning the legal nature of the J+L Apothecary brand, we have been aware of how the name can lead to conflict with local and state laws regarding the use of the word APOTHECARY outside of a pharmaceutical businesses. In Illinois, where we are based, any business that uses Apothecary must be licensed to a licensed pharmacist. Originally the word apothecary referred to medicine. Genuinely, the concern was little but not zero because we used it for a product and not a business or store.
Reason #2: It was intended to be temporary
The history behind the J+L Apothecary name was that we needed something to label some test products for a client. It was not meant to stick and the products were not really intended to be sold by us directly. This story we have already told. Not really ever being all that happy with the name, we had brainstormed over and over on what to rename the line and fully capture all that it can include. Until recently we could not think of anything.
What is not a reason for the change:
It is not desperation. It is not a means to resuscitate the line. We are not merging with another entity, not taking on a new partner or making any changes to our business structure. Although we should not have to put this here, any time a business makes such big changes it is perceived as being something negative.
We already had it in play. We have loved it from the day we first discovered the word. It’s meaning is upbeat, friendly and means to have good time. It is VERY unique, something you will not come across much in the US. Although we have the umlauts over the O, we pronounce it as it jol. The word has Nordic history and has various spellings and pronunciations throughout Scandinavia and former Dutch colonies. It shares it’s history with “yule”, as in yuletide. Are we saying our products are fun? Sure, why not? Ultimately we want people to feel good. If the smell cheers you up, your soft skin feels nice to the touch, or your hair shines; and that makes your feel good about yourself then we did a good thing. JÖL makes sense to us and likely to our customers as well.
JÖL is something we can take in any direction. It creates a perfect umbrella to cover all that we do, regardless of the purpose of the product. We can apply it to things we don’t make as well as the things we do. It will become our brand to cover everything but our Beard Care products. That will remain J&L Pogonotrophics!
How is this change going to roll out?
SLOWLY. We have a lot of inventory with J+L Apothecary labeling. Our website and social media all need to be updated to reflect the change. It will take some time for people to not get confused on what changed and how will they find their favorite product after the change is in place. Product names won’t change, just the brand they are listed under. J+L Apothecary Foaming Face Wash will become JÖL Foaming Face Wash. We expect it to take a full year to completely make this change.
We will stop using the J+L Apothecary name immediately in marketing. Its use will only be used to denote the change to JÖL. We will work to alter product descriptions to note the change over the coming weeks. At first, existing inventory will be listed like this: J+L Apothecary Foaming Face Wash by JÖL. This will introduce the new name in relation to the outgoing brand name, allowing people to make the connection as we transition. Once we have sold through the J+L Apothecary inventory of any item , we will change the listing by removing reference to Apothecary in the listing. New photos reflecting the new look will be published then as well. Every item will be noted with a line mentioning the change in the product description.
Our website will be restructured to incorporate the change. We will refine catalogs to be more general at the top level but allow any shopper to narrow in on the specific range of products. Essentially we will have 2 product categories J&L Pogonotrophics Beard Care and JÖL. Gift Cards, Clearance, Subscriptions and Memberships will be listed separately as they are cross brand categories. Search filters for price or scents will remain to choose from all categories to help your shopping.
We know this will not be easy and there is bound to be a lot of crossed communication when it comes to our products. Due to our size, we do not have the means to off-load J+L Apothecary products and make all new products. Nor is that economical or in line with our values. As the formulas are not changing, just the name on a label, there is no point it just getting rid of them. As the process goes along, we may opt to place slow selling “last-ones” as clearance. There are select items where we can relabel without negatively affecting the packaging. Effective immediately, all new production runs will be branded as JÖL.
We have no means to predict what the future can hold for us or our products. We do feel that this change will make our products more approachable to more people. There are always ideas for new things and new ways of making our current offerings. A few things may come sooner than later, some ideas may never get beyond where they are now. This change we announced here has been an idea for 5 years, only this year did it come to a reality. JÖL is poised to be closer to where we wanted to go all along when we decided to branch into new territory. No longer limited to a narrow definition of a brand name.
J&L Pogonotrophics will always be important to us and will not go away as long as we have a market that wants it. What we offer is likely to evolve and change over time with new products, new scents and maybe new looks. This summer we are going to make some announcements in regards to what we have planned for J&L with a new line or 2 and some refinement to our current offerings. We are still in the process of going to 100% Organic for our beard care.
Please let us know what you think and we certainly will answer any questions you have as best as we can.