To create has always been my nature. The challenge to craft a brand from ground zero to the final production is thrilling. The cherry on top is watching a brand reach its full potential, systematically engaging versus targeting. Elite branding promises an indifference to trends, providing more than pretty colors and font combinations. Thoughtful elements are comprised to custom fit and grow with the business.

But let's back up to how a business can achieve brand brilliance! While certain components like products, services and competitors should be fully developed, a brand is the perception of the general marketplace and a company only gets so many chances to define it. A brand creates emotions, expectations, loyalty, price sensitivity, etc. by how well they tell their story. Test your brand with my free brand assessment here,

A company who does a good job story telling, Knack And Jill, is a startup that I was hired to name and brand. It is a home, gifts and lifestyle brand. The artist and owner, Jill Chancey Philips, is an artist who sought to bring joy through her hand painted linens. While products are reproductions of Jill's hand painted designs, she adds her "dit-dot" approach to every piece as a final touch before shipping to customers and retailers.

We needed to craft a brand that exuded artistry, hand made and joy. Because the brand seeks to attract 25 - 65+ women, but concentrates in the 30 to 40 and 50 to 65+ range, it was important to convey a traditional, classic component as well. A name was needed to begin so I compiled an amateur concept video to propose names to Jill. I like to create videos because they extract emotions better than a pdf with a list of suggested names. To me, if the goal is to create a brand that fits the personality we are seeking, the process must use those same tactics to see if emotions felt align with the strategy.

Knack And Jill was undoubtedly the right choice; you can read more on her about page here. Assembling a logo, tagline, fonts, color palette and textures came next. Jill trims her linens with identifiable stripes so including that element was paramount. Not only did we use it for the logo but also repurposed them to create two different textures. Because the primary logo is stacked, Jill needed a simplified version for flexible use in small print ads, business cards, labels, etc. as well as a version to complement possible product diversification for a children's line. Two secondary logos were created to service those needs. 

knack and jill branding

We chose a font that has a classic, Pottery Barn-esque feel with a touch of whimsy to reinforce joy and not exclude some of her younger demo. The colors come from Jill's love of the beach and were inline with her bread and butter prior to starting Knack And Jill, watercolor paintings. These colors tested well for the company's demographic and again, communicated joy with their cheerful hues. Lastly, the tagline needed to communicate several key factors:

  1. The product is a luxury item, certainly not a commodity, even though the price point is not high end by any means
  2. Joy has a double meaning to Jill so communicating that in a brief way was my challenge. I needed to connect a tangible product to precious memories in the sense of how you see, smell, hear, etc. something that brings a nostalgic memory to mind. Secondly, because a portion of Knack And Jill's key demographic is retired or close to it, they are able to reflect on what seem like the smaller things in life that bring great joy! When the whole family comes home and sits around the table for dinner kind-of-thing.

Thus, "enjoy life's treasures" became her tagline to gently and briefly communicate a tone of voice, personality and hint towards the solutions her company provides.

Lastly, I established a photography standard so the brand could be quickly recognized, even if the logo was not present. I've included some examples below that are a part of Knack And Jill's style guidelines. Photographer Eliza Morrill and myself who styled and art directed worked together to create the below. 

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Part 2 will elaborate on Jill's stories and the important role that has played in her companies success. To be continued...