Headshot of Sarita Lopez, founder of The Cactus Water Co. LLC.
Sarita Lopez, owner of The Cactus Water Co. LLC, believes the key to good business decisions is not making any choices too rashly. — The Cactus Water Co. LLC

Every entrepreneur faces challenging moments when they might feel like giving up. Instead of throwing in the towel when things get tough, Sarita Lopez, owner of The Cactus Water Co., recommends giving yourself some time to process what you’re feeling before deciding on a direction.

“If you feel like giving up, wait 24 hours before making any rash decisions,” she said. “The times I have felt my lowest have been the times I’ve come up with an idea on how the business can continue.”

This “wait, then decide” attitude may have ultimately saved Lopez’s business as she navigated a rebrand in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I really thought I would have to close my business before it even had a chance to be presented,” Lopez said. “ I allowed myself to have a pity party of one … before realizing that if I wanted this brand to make it, I would have to be resourceful.”

Making the decision to rebrand

Lopez created the first iteration of her company’s cactus water beverage as a natural, hydrating alternative to coconut and aloe water. As an organic farmer, Lopez started preparing cactus leaves (known as “paddles”) from her family’s farm to sell at farmers' markets. After she saw how popular they became among her customers, Lopez officially created and launched Green-Go cactus water.

Although her zero-calorie cactus water was popular, Lopez believed her brand could generate a broader market with a reformulation and rebrand.

If you feel like giving up, wait 24 hours before making any rash decisions. The times I have felt my lowest have been the times I’ve come up with an idea on how the business can continue.

Sarita Lopez, Founder, ¡CACTUS! Water

“I spent two years constantly sampling my beverage at grocery markets and I really listened to the feedback I received,” she said. “Based on that feedback, I decided to change to a more recyclable container, emphasize the sustainability of the cactus, and rebrand as a name that would be hard to not correlate with a cactus water.”

[Read more: 10 Examples of Famous Businesses That Changed Their Names]

Changing direction and getting creative at the onset of a pandemic

The rebrand from Green-Go to ¡CACTUS! launched at the beginning of 2020, when the pandemic forced some businesses to temporarily — or permanently — close their doors. These circumstances might have stopped a new business, or a rebrand, from gaining popularity or succeeding; however, Lopez used this potential setback to help her company flourish.

Before the pandemic, said Lopez, she planned to market ¡CACTUS! for its natural electrolytes. As she researched food and beverage trends, she realized there was another avenue and angle she could follow.

“Immunity beverages were becoming increasingly popular, and as my drink had over 100% [of the recommended daily value of] vitamin C, I decided to market heavily to the crowd looking for antioxidants,” she told CO—.

The pandemic also halted sampling demos, which previously were the best way to spread awareness of the product, according to Lopez.

“I had to get more creative with social media and began working with a social media manager who created geo-targeted ads on Instagram and Facebook,” she said. “Additionally, I worked with micro-influencers and did as many giveaways as possible.”

Lopez initially struggled with launching a rebranded product during the pandemic, but ultimately followed her intuition and kept going.

“I truly believe my business is around today because I made that marketing pivot,” she said.

[Read more: How to Market Your Business During a Recession]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published January 17, 2023