A logo, a name and a fancy schmancy BnB.

A logo, a name and a fancy schmancy BnB.

A couple of decades ago, we decided that what Cactus really lacked was a big-note business consultant to tell us what to do. So naturally, we went to our local economic development agency and got them to agree to pay half for a consultant session. The three Cactus founders headed to a fancy schmancy Bed and Breakfast establishment. 

Given the fact that, back in those days, the Cactus crew tended to live in the factory, eat the cheapest noodles available, and generally appear much like homeless people, you can imagine that a boutique establishment was not in our style. 
Anyway, we chatted for a few days with this consultant guy who was a nice chap, but way out of our league. At the end of it, he determined that actually what we really needed was not one really, really strong brand that people loved and that spoke to our customers and supporters. Rather what was needed was three brands to increase the complexity, dilute the brand appeal and generally confuse people. Makes sense, huh?
Being young, foolish chaps, we took this advice and you might still see around the place a white and red Cactus logo, which was the Cactus Industrial brand, an ugly beige one which was our urban brand, Cactus Frontline, and then the regular we called Cactus Backcountry.
As you can imagine, sense soon prevailed and we realized that the thing that people loved was Cactus. Plain old simple, Cactus Outdoor with no bullsh*t, no embellishment, no frills or tassels. Just simple rock-solid products built to last for decades. 
And that's what we've done ever since. Just made the best stuff we know how to in ways that aren't high-tech and ultra-light, but instead tried and tested and bombproof. 
The moral of the story is that no one knows your business like you do. For all intent in the world, a raft of consultants or strategy people and a raft of other folks prepared to stick their oar in is no replacement for the people who live and breathe the business. 
We learned a lot through that rebranding exercise. And those are lessons that we've taken to heart.