This is the second post in my series on the revamp of the Fox & Owl Media brand. The first post can be found here.
The Start of a Brand New Brand Solution
Skip back a few months, where I came across a Facebook group that looked interesting. It was about branding, so I requested to join. The lady who runs the group has a business that helps entrepreneurs, specifically coaches and mentors, to create beautiful brands through designing their visual identities. Her specialties are creating amazing colour palettes and designing gorgeous logos. Even though I wasn’t in her ideal client spectrum, she granted me membership to her group.
After having done some more research on Emma from Fresh Sage, I saw that she does the work I was battling with on my own brand. Her branding philosophy and beliefs are very, very similar to mine, and I immediately became a fan. I became involved in the group and commented on posts and tried my best to add value to other people’s questions. Because I’m not my own best client, I wanted to find a way to work with this lady.
Then Emma released a new branding course she’d been baking up behind the scenes, and she’d called it the “Brand Bake Off”. I’m obsessed with the Great British Bake Off, so I appreciated the pop culture reference. I was immediately interested and did some reading. This sounded like something that would benefit me and my business. I’d had a Zoom call with Emma 2 months before, and had voiced my branding concerns, so she was aware of my mindset and situation. She encouraged me to join, as she knew it would help me gain clarity. So I did.
I probably didn’t appreciate the full scale of the project ahead, but I felt puppy-dog levels of excitement about it.
The Brand Bake Off is Emma’s way of helping more people through their branding process, even if they can’t afford to make an investment in one of her one-on-one services. I don’t want to give away all of Emma’s secrets, but the need-to-knows are this:
- It’s a 4 week course, with group calls once a week where you interact with Emma and your fellow course participants.
- You work on a different aspect of your branding each week.
- Emma gives you the brief, the information you need to get started for the week, and a few resources to help you along the way. You have a week to complete the assignment, and can ask for feedback during the week from Emma as well as other group members.
- Emma creates a secret group for course participants, and it’s a nurturing, encouraging space. It’s a fantastic way to incubate a brand before releasing that magic into the world.
- It’s inspiring to watch other people create lovely things.
- The process helps you to feel fired up, and ready to make yourself a better boss.
My Brand Colours
I told a few people about my (at the time) upcoming colour change, and the response went from, “Oh that’s cool – have fun and I’d really like to see your new branding colours”, to “I don’t think you should change your colours, you’ve just started out and people might only just be starting to get to know the brand”. From “Why do you want to change your colours?”, to “Have you really thought this through?”. All very valid responses, and I appreciate the feedback I received before I embarked on the big change.
We worked on colours early in the process, and this week was the most difficult for me. I adore colour, and I love bright, cheerful colours. I had to reign myself in from choosing too many colours. I also had to stop myself from choosing colours that were too loud. But with Emma’s guidance, a bit of intuition, lots of playtime and kind feedback from other group members, we settled on a palette that I love.
I have loved the colour purple for as long as I can remember. When I started my business, I was hesitant to use purple because I think I feared it would make my brand look unprofessional. What I didn’t realise when I made that decision was that I was taking a piece of myself out of my brand. When the Bake Off started, I decided to take a risk and bring some purple into the mix, and it immediately felt right. I spent time, and took great pains to find purples that resonated with me. When I created what became the final version of my palette, and the group gave it their resounding approval, I couldn’t wait to put it to use.
When I was working on choosing colours, I was already thinking about their application to various parts of my branding. Colours look very different on a palette where they lack context, compared to when they’re being used in a logo, on business cards, or on a website. A big part of choosing colours is being able to “test” them out on your branding and evaluate the new look before you release the brand and its collateral into the world.
Once I had decided on my final colour palette, I copy-pasted the colour swatches (with their RGB and Hex codes) into every branding document I have. This helped me to keep track of my correct colours, and how I was using them in each case. That allowed me to create uniformity and consistency throughout my documents and collateral.
A Rebrand is a Big Deal
I’m particular about my brand. I’m hugely protective of it, and I take great care of the way it looks and feels. Now that I’ve gone through this process, I’m even more picky about the finer details of everything: from the service packages I offer, to the websites I build, down to the clients I work with.
Once the Bake Off was over, and as a way to implement changes immediately, I had to take time to revamp the documents I send to clients. I adjusted contracts, quotes, receipts, invoices, info packages, my email signature, letterhead and business card. Small confession: I haven’t had my business card reprinted yet because I don’t often give them out. When I have money to invest in the business again, I’ll reprint a small run of them.
Rebranding takes a while, and I’m still refining the smaller details of my overall aesthetic and message. There are still things I want to add to my website (as usual), there are tweaks I need to make to my services and images I’d like to add to pages. But that all comes with time.
Now that I’m experiencing my brand post-Bake Off, I have a huge fondness for what I’ve created from nothing. I started in June last year with no big-picture plan, and I am quickly building the tracks as the train hurtles on.
A Special Announcement
Because I believe in paying it forward, and I believe that a little bit of Emma magic could help your business and brand enormously, I’m letting you know about the next round of the Brand Bake Off. Emma has decided to run the programme again in Mid-May and today she released the early-bird pricing details. The early-bird discounted price ends tomorrow. She’s introduced a payment plan to make it affordable for those who could really use her guidance. This programme is amazing value, as you get 1:1 time with Emma and she takes you through the process so that you never feel overwhelmed.
If you’d like to find out more about her programme, click here.
If you do decide to sign up, please tell her Melissa sent you. It’s my way of paying it forward because Emma has done so much for me, and continues to give generously to her community.
Melissa De Klerk
Writer, Web Designer, Digital Media Strategist, Typophile, Inspiration Junkie, Yogi
Melissa is the owner and creative brain behind Fox & Owl Media. She loves creating content strategies and has considerable experience with Website Design and Brand Management.
You can contact her here, and find her on social media by clicking the links below.