Sunday, June 1, 2008
On September 21, 2007, the Syrup team and I met to talk about branding for Savvy Auntie. All in all, between our kick-off meeting and late October, it would be close to two months before we were all satisfied with the look and feel of the Savvy Auntie brand. And still, the brand continues to evolve and will always modernize with the women it serves.
A brand is a living, breathing, organic representation of a product, service, company etc. For me, Savvy Auntie has to not only represent the modern, cosmopolitan Aunt, it also has to represent me as its founder. The latter was in itself a decision I had to make early on; would I be an invisible CEO, or would I be a public figure - a model representation of Savvy Aunties around the world? Obviously, I chose to represent because the creation of Savvy Auntie is the culmination of my dreams-come-true - and grew out of the immense love I have for my nephew and nieces. But that meant that the brand had to be something that resonated with me on a deeply personal level - and yet be universal enough to be something my Aunties want to have a relationship with.
I honestly feel that good brands are gifts. Good brands don't just love themselves; they are a reflection of something consumers yearn for, aspire to, live in, and are passionate about. One's relationship with a brand is visceral. One's connection with a brand is instinctual. It's a partnership between brand-owner and its audience. They reflect each other, in time, space and passions.
There are many layers to a brand. And it took weeks of collaboration to find a concept we all loved. Would the brand include illustrations? Silhouettes? Photography? What colors would best represent the brand? Would we follow the flow of pastel parenting sites? Would we take a European approach with clean, stark imagery? Would we be uber-modern and design a concept that shows we are cutting edge? What about fashion mag sophistication?
In the end, we took pieces of all of these ideas and created a brand identity we call: Playful Luxury. The Savvy Auntie spends (or aspires to spend) her discretionary income on luxury goods and services, but she's also playful and nurturing with her nieces and nephews. So the branding had to reflect both sides of this amazing woman.
When people ask me how I came up with the branding for Savvy Auntie, I am proud to say that I hired a brilliant team of brand concept developers. But the truth is - it also had to come from me. I guided the agency with my creative brief, magazine swipes, color suggestions, and an in-person expression of who I am and who Savvy Aunties are. When I didn't love something, I told them why. When I loved something, I told them why. I was 100% present in development of the Savvy Auntie brand. Because she's me. Because she's you. Because Savvy Aunties deserve the respect and devotion of a company that cares about them. Because Aunts deserves a brand that gives back by reflecting their very passions.
I am exceptionally proud of the Savvy Auntie brand. SavvyAuntie.com launches soon - but you can see a reflection of the brand at the SavvyAuntie.com holding page now. It's a flower - a representation of a relationship that is just beginning to bloom. I hope that means something to you. It means the world to me.