Building a Brand

After coming up with a name, the next step is creating a strong brand. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was lucky to have a neighbor walk me through so many branding exercises. Also, because I had spent months trying to come up with a name, the next parts of the branding process came more naturally.

My neighbor taught me about brand character descriptors (which ended up being my list of words I collected when trying to create a name), brand values, target market personas, a positioning statement, a tagline, and tons more. A lot of people hire an agency to do this-but I’m working on a budget so I needed to do it on my own.

Along with the help of my neighbor, I read tons of books and blog posts and found podcasts to be particularly helpful. There is a wonderful podcast on NPR about Warby Parker’s branding experience. It really helped guide my thinking and made sure my brand was aligned in all aspects.

After spending months on all these details, and writing a business plan with a 3 year forecast, I was finally ready to hire someone to create my logo. In all honestly (and in all hilarity) I tried to use Adobe Illustrator to create my own logo-you know, with zero graphic design experience. After a tremendous fail and a lot of people laughing at me (which was totally deserved), I trusted in the ladies at Nico and Lala to create my logo. It is really funny; building a business becomes your baby-you want to only hire people you really trust and are 100% on the same page as you. These girls got me and I knew they were the right fit.

I presented them with what I had drawn on paper. Besides not being a graphic designer, I am also not an artist. Fortunately, from my very rough sketches paired with my branding documents, they were able to combine my ideas and come up with something even better than I imagined.

I wanted a timeless, preppy-chic look that was New England with a hint of the South. A pagoda has been a staple in home decor forever and was the exact shape and style to anchor my look together. And who doesn’t love navy, kelly green and gold? It’s a classic color combination.  

Nico and Lala also provided a branding board. This board contains my logo and logo variations, colors and corresponding patterns and fonts, insuring my look is cohesive. I absolutely love what they created.

Watching your brand come to life is an amazing experience. Receiving my logo reminded me of the feeling I got when trying on wedding dresses a few years ago -it makes it all feel “real”.