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Continued Branding: Event Planning
M studio’s Panoptic Approach to brand development is more than a marketing strategy; it’s a promise to our clients. By holding to this multifaceted outlook, the M studio team guarantees our full attention with every new step in building a stronger brand identity. Even after a brand has been established, we offer services like web development, video and photography, public relations, and social media to help build brand recognition. We also help launch new brands and support brand missions with carefully planned promotional events that speak to our client’s intended market.
Creating the perfect promotional event means taking on the project from every possible angle, so each member of the M studio team plays a specific role in ensuring that the planning process and final execution run as smoothly as possible. While we provide the design and marketing expertise upon which we pride ourselves, we also work with our clients to establish the event’s look, feel, and overarching purpose while keeping in mind the client’s individual identity and their target audience’s unique interests. From print collateral, decor, and giveaways, to live entertainment and choice of venue, a promotional event is an exciting and memorable way to shine a spotlight on your carefully executed branding materials and leave your attendees with a lasting impression.
The team at M studio understands that bringing interested parties together for the same purpose is an unparalleled tool for increasing customers’ enthusiasm about your business. That’s why, when we provide our clients with our event planning services, we use our all-encompassing marketing knowhow to organize the event best suited to your specific brand identity from conceptualization to realization.
Brand Simple. Lead the Way.
Recently, the owner of the boutique dog collar and leash business, Baxter & Birdie, turned to M studio to create a brand identity for her new line of leashes and collars. While the client put creative control almost entirely in the hands of the M studio team, she made a few very important requests. She asked that the brand feel accessible yet modern while absolutely avoiding pet specific imagery or language. With these guidelines in mind, the M studio team set off to create an entirely unique, fully realized brand identity, starting with name exploration and moving toward packaging concepts.
In exploring names, we began focusing on collars and leashes in a broader sense. What do they do? What’s their shape? Their history? Their relationship to humans and animals? From these thoughts, names that revolved around straight lines, circular imagery, and friendship evolved. We then shifted the focus from the big picture to the fine details of the objects in hand, and that’s when the idea to build a name in reference to the product’s patented stitching pattern was conceived. Each leash and collar is reinforced with four parallel lines of stitching that stretch from end to end. The concept of creating a name around the number four became a prominent theme, and the name Three & One was born and implemented for its simplicity and versatility.
Having landed on a name, our next step in brand development was to create a tagline. In order to create a tagline that spoke for the product without screaming “LEASHES! COLLARS!,” we focused our attentions on the relationship between the human and the dog and the role leashes and collars play in that relationship. The tagline “Live Simple. Lead the Way,” in part, calls upon the simplicity inherent in the owner-pet relationship– a basic symbiotic relationship from which both the human and the dog not only benefit but receive genuine, unadulterated pleasure. The tagline also demonstrates the purpose of the product of allowing the human to literally lead his or her dog on walks. Because the phrase “Live Simple. Lead the Way” does not actually explain its origins, though, the tagline asks consumers to draw their own conclusions about what those five words mean to them.
As we delved into the next step of logo design, we continued to draw from concepts contrived in name and tagline exploration. The final design for the logo, in which the ampersand sits in the “O” of “One,” and no space exists between the words “Three” and “One,” visually demonstrates the functions of leashes and collars and the relationship between owners and pets. The combining of all three words in the name shows the literal connection between the leash and the collar, with the ampersand acting as a latch, the longer word “Three” being the human and the leash, the “O” representing the circular collar, and the rest of the word “One” playing the part of the pet. As with the name and the tagline, this mark acts as a stealth way of demonstrating what the product is and how it functions without outwardly appearing specific to pet supplies.
With the name, tagline, and logo finalized, we then began work on display packaging that would tie all these brand elements together. The final rendering of the packaging combines the simple language and slick look we created for Three & One while considering the most practical way to put the product on display. With a clean color palate of silver, black, and white and the three word product explanation “Wipeable. Washable. Durable,” this hanging display encompasses the modern, minimalistic brand identity of Three & One while allowing the product to stand out.
We have found time and again that by being afforded more creative freedom, we are able to produce a stronger finished product with more cohesive branding. The challenge of working on a project with very few guidelines, like Three & One, forces us, as creatives, to take a few extra steps back in order to examine the task before us from every possible angle. Such examination leads to greater insight, and it is this kind of discernment that makes it possible for us to build a brand like Three & One from the beginnings of an idea to a fully realized, comprehensive brand.
Shore Restaurant Supply Truck
How do you reach an audience on the move? Move right along with them! By bringing brand elements to company vehicles, a business can increase their advertising audience exponentially. While maintaining a web and social media presence is an invaluable tool for any business, these outlets may only reach a specific demographic. A moveable billboard like the Shore Restaurant Supply Truck, however, reaches thousands of people from all walks of life every time it hits the road.
The element of mystery that comes along with advertising on the road lends additional appeal to the moveable billboard. A fellow traveller can spot the Shore Restaurant Supply truck and surmise from the company’s name and the imagery covering the truck that the truck is promoting something to do with restaurants, but what? The potential client grows intrigued and does as instructed on the back of the truck: “call us for a good fork.”
As members of a marketing agency, the M studio team realizes the importance of showcasing every client’s individual identity through digital communication and marketing. When fitness professionals Dina Crosta (Yoga Dina) and Christina White (Lady is Strong) turned to M studio to design and develop their websites, we were excited by the challenge of figuring out how to highlight each fitness instructor’s unique point of view. In order to create websites that relayed the message about who each woman is and how her program operates, we relied not only on straight forward written information, but we provided hints through imagery, colors, text, and layout.
Being a fitness professional is an extremely intimate job, so we knew it would be of the utmost importance for the websites we created to reflect Dina’s and Christina’s individual personalities. For this reason, we kept both the Yoga Dina and the Lady is Strong sites fairly simplistic; the design of each website works to establish an immediate introduction to the fitness professional. The first thing people see when they visit the Lady is Strong site is a video of Christina explaining her outlook on healthy living and her personal approach to fitness. By including the video on the site’s landing page, we ensured that there could be no confusion as to who Christina is and what Lady is Strong is all about. While there is no video on Dina’s website, the first image users see when visiting the Yoga Dina site is an image of Dina practicing yoga, so, again, the purpose of the site is established immediately.
Moving into the finer details of each site’s look and layout, we were then able to highlight each woman’s unique approach to health and wellness by designing the sites to mimic what one can expect when signing up for either a Yoga Dina or Lady is Strong class. One of the most prominent differences between the Yoga Dina and Lady is Strong websites is the way in which users are meant to navigate through them. The Yoga Dina site is composed of a single side-scrolling page that flows smoothly from left to right to reflect the fluid movements of yoga. The Lady is Strong site, on the other hand, directs the user from one page to another using a menu bar. This step by step navigation system mirrors the structure of a Lady is Strong class, in which students switch from one workout to another then another.
Just as the flow of a website can reference the service or product it promotes, colors, fonts, and symbols can give the users insight into the service in question. Because Dina offers a workout experience associated with focus and meditation, we applied to her site a soft color gradient composed of grays and whites, and in order to emphasize the subtleties of a yoga workout, we relied on lighter weight texts. We also chose to reference yoga’s ancient history and spiritual foundation by including chakra symbols and images of traditional Indian fabric patterns throughout the site.
In contrast to the Yoga Dina website, we designed the Lady is Strong site to include bold, emphatic colors, like yellow, black, white, and dark gray, in order to reflect the feel of Christina’s workout methods, which rely on more regimented workout strategies. Then, to emphasize the in-your-face training methods of Lady is Strong, we used a heavier weight font in the site’s header. While yoga is an ancient practice, Christina’s workouts are a creation of her own. Therefore, the sole symbol included on the Lady is Strong site is the double arrow that Christina uses in association with Lady is Strong to represent movement, direction, and flow.
Similarly to the ways in which both Dina’s and Christina’s approaches to fitness benefit the body as a whole, the sites M studio created to promote and brand their businesses are specially designed and developed to highlight every component of who Dina and Christina are and what they do. The details that make the sites unique, though, reflect the ways in which these two fitness professionals provide vastly different services within the same industry. Dina and Christina are not unique in being unique, however. Every product or organization has an individual identity to promote, and the key to affective marketing is figuring out how to make that identity shine.