Client Spotlight: Lilli Pads Part 1 - Building the Brand
What we covered:
→ Brand Strategy
→ Brand Styling
→ Marketing Material
→ Web Design
→ Web Development (Shopify)
Elaine came to us with a project that sounded like a dream, so we’re writing a 3-part series all about her journey building the Lilli Pads’ brand with us.
Elaine was creating a product-based business that would help women around the world have better options for organic, toxin-free hygiene products. Saying yes to take on the strategy, branding, art direction, packaging and web design was a no-brainer and on top of that, Elaine and our team hit it off like old friends.
This was a long-term (1+ year) project we worked closely on with designers, developers and photographers to get everything in order and design an entire business from the ground up.
We are thrilled to be sharing this project, because not only was it so much fun to put every piece together from scratch, but it's also such an inspiring product that we're so proud to be using and sharing.
PS - Visit the Lilli Pads website to check out the organic products, the sample pack (in a super handy, plush pouch) and get 10% off your first order using coupon code HELLOFUNCTION10.
Let's dive into the series with Part 1:
Building the Lilli Pads’ brand
Lilli Pads owned by Elaine Kao sat down with me recently and let me pick her brain about what it was like to build a business, from the ground up.
Why was building a brand for Lilli Pads so important?
When Elaine started to think about creating a business strategy to sell organic period products, she knew that she wanted to build a brand that she could identify with.
Elaine felt that it was important to look at her branding from a top-down perspective and she entered the Lilli Pads journey asking herself, “what would this brand represent to me?”. Her goal was to ensure that the entire experience, from start to end, would be appreciated by the community of women buying her product.
When she started to think about her brand, she began to notice that the period products that she’d been using for many years all seem to use a bright, hot pink or blue colour to represent their brand and that wasn’t something that she could identify with. Her goal was to come up with a soft, warmer feel for Lilli Pads - something that women could truly connect with.
At what point did Elaine decide that a designer would be helpful for her?
With a background in banking and finance, Elaine didn’t feel like her creativity was her strong suit (she may be being a little hard on herself here, because I can tell you that she had all the right ideas), and she knew from the start that she was going to need a little extra love when it came to designing the Lilli Pads’ brand.
Her belief on design was simple: if you can’t do it well, it’s important to find someone who can.
Elaine coined it well when she said,
From my experience, there are two philosophies that people have when it comes to design: you either go into the process knowing that you are going to need a designer to help build your dream brand (like Elaine has done) or, there are others that approach design in a more “DIY-style”, where they want to try a few things on their own to start and after a bit of trial and error, they’ll seek design support. There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s just different ways of thinking!
Elaine’s belief is that design isn’t just a one-time thing either, it’s a lifelong relationship. As your business grows, your brand is going to evolve too. If you go and buy a brand new home, I’m sure it will be wonderful and you’ll comfortably live in it for a few years, but maybe down the line you’ll want to upgrade your kitchen or finish your basement.
When you first design your brand, you are building a solid foundation for your business but you’ll also want to consider how often you may be changing small things here and there along the way, like adding new products or changing a colour.
At Function, we reassess our brand strategy and design about once a year. We start by talking about our core values - are they the same? Does my brand still align? And sometimes, we just refresh a colour and other times, it’s something more. It’s so important to evolve your design as your business grows, it keeps things fresh!
Peek at some of the initial strategy + design direction for the lilli pads’ brand:
We started with some solid strategy and direction first. Brainstorming things like Elaine’s marketing positioning, ideal customers, core values and her brand voice came first. Next came the design elements.
There’s more where that came from!
We’re going to learn more about Lilli Pads in Part 2 of this series, The Brand Design. In this next part, we get into the core customers and core messaging of Lilli Pads and how that helped to shape the entire design direction.
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