These are the steps we followed in order to create a logo, website, business cards, letterhead, email signature, and social media banners in just two days. The best part? The results are as good as any project I directed at a large agency – and those projects took 3 months to deliver!
Our Strategy For Planning The Fastest Branding Project We’d Ever Attempted
When S’more Brands was first conceived, I thought the business itself needed to be branded using the same insane two-step process we were planning to use for clients. How better to prove the system to you, our potential client? I had a plan that looked great… on the whiteboard anyway! But transitioning from a process of seemingly endless emails, phone calls, and video conferences spread out over months to a highly-focused do-or-die timed session was still intimidating. The Camp Counseling session is a scheduled two-hour video conference or phone call between you and our team. The single goal is to gain a deep understanding of your business, goals, and target market. Sure, we’ll ask a few design preference questions too, but when we actually get down to it, we’re designing for your business needs and target market. Your personal preferences should be a secondary concern.
The First S’more Brands Camp Counseling Session
So, I kicked off the S’more Brands project by spending two hours answering my own questionnaire. When I was done, I felt pretty good about the amount of information I had down on paper. I went ahead and compiled it all into a Brand Strategy Report. The document laid the path that the business would follow, how it would stand out in the market, and precisely who that market included. It also clearly defined our Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and even developed a snazzy elevator pitch:
We help creative entrepreneurs build brands to attract their ideal clients. But rather than taking months, we do it through a focused one-on-one workshop that gets their new brand to work in just two days.
The cool thing about our Camp Counseling session, when compared to a traditional agency “discovery” phase, is that in the end, you get a valuable deliverable capable of standing on its own. The Brand Strategy Report can be used immediately to start making key changes which have the potential to transform a creative services business.
Gearing Up For The First Brand Camp
Were we seriously going to design a logo, launch a WordPress website, and create all the print and digital marketing materials we would need all in a single day? Yes and no. We knew that in order to produce quality work, we’d need to do a good amount of prep work prior to the Brand Camp session. So, we set out to do three things before our scheduled Brand Camp.
- Design a number of logo concepts
- Write the website copy
- Install the foundation of the website and set up a basic page structure
These items can all be done without your involvement. We already had the Brand Strategy Report, which is all we would need to get started.
This One Time, At Brand Camp…
The big day had arrived! At 10 am sharp we fired up a Google Meeting for video conferencing and screen sharing. Lalena started by unveiling her logo concepts. One of these concepts was 95% on its way to becoming the official S’more Brands logo. A couple minor tweaks and some color adjustments and I was very happy with it. She managed to combine a rustic feel with a pinch of tech while pulling in a s’more roasting campfire and combining it with a symbol of design. I wish I could’ve done that! With the logo locked in, she was able to quickly provide me with a style guide containing the fonts and exact colors to use on the website. Lalena gave me some design direction for the site and designed some quick Photoshop mockups for me to get to work coding. Then she was off, putting together our print and digital branding materials. And it wasn’t even 11:30 am! We knew that in theory, we could make this hyper-accelerated process work. But it was still very exciting to see it start to come together. A little after 3 pm we had business cards and letterhead ready to send to the printers! And at the same time, I had all the basic website structure and most of the general styling in place. Since the print materials were done, Lalena was able to jump over to the website to help me with some fine-tuning and to add some nice branded elements onto the pages. In the end, we scrambled to finish up some last minute details before calling it at 6:23 pm. Looking back, we spent a full day and ended up with a complete brand ready to go to market with. As a business owner, I know the cost of waiting. Had we decided to utilize the standard design process we’re both used to from agency life, we could have easily spent two months waffling about with nothing better to show for it. We are sold on the process. If you’re a provider of creative services, either a solo-preneur or leader of a small team and would like to find out if a day at Brand Camp might be just what you need, click here to schedule a free initial consultation with Erik.