Birth of a Brand - Part One

Posted on July 13, 2012

Here at Clay Pot Creative, we do a lot of different kinds of projects. Some are logo development, some web development, some graphic design. Some clients come in just to have us create their Facebook account while others let us run with the whole package. Just two short weeks ago, we did the latter for one of our newest clients, taking a new company from the early stages of a concept all the way through launch. In this three part series, we will take an in-depth look at what it was like to create and launch a brand from scratch, and get it all done in time for the Colorado Brewers’ Festival.

The Birth of a Brand, Part One

Disclaimer: brand development only happens in two weeks when a client has a very healthy budget and a lot of time and energy available to spend every waking moment on the project. While this is how this brand went down, we generally don't encourage this approach.

One of our clients had been dabbling in coffee roasting on the side of their daily activity, and they were making the steps to spin off a full-fledged roasterie from the day-to-day business. Once the client was ready to move forward with their new business, they came to CPC for our custom naming process. For most naming efforts, including this one, we need to truly understand the goals and philosophies of the brand. By undertaking this process with the client, we were able to focus in on a direction to head with the name as well as which way not to go. After some back and forth with the client and our team, Conundrum Coffee was declared the winner. And as a bonus of our process, the client walked away with key messaging ready to help the new company move forward.

Enter the Downtown Business Association, producers of the Colorado Brewer’s Festival. After a completely unrelated meeting between Clay Pot Creative and the DBA, the lovely Peggy Lyle, Assistant DBA Director, had a brainstorm – would our client, Conundrum Coffee, like to launch at Brewfest? Coffee is brewed, beer is brewed; get the connection? And by the way – the event is in two weeks.

Needless to say, our client was pretty excited about the possibility of launching at Colorado Brewers’ Festival. We were too – and also freaked out! Two weeks is kind of a tight timeline to design a logo, build a website, create coffee packaging, and develop tradeshow materials for a booth at the launch event. But we rallied the troops and got cracking. First up: logo design.

We quickly got two designers from our team on board to create some logo concepts. A couple of late nights left us with four concepts per designer, which were then brought to the client. As with most logo development projects, the client liked aspects of different concepts (and disliked others).  Our designers put their heads together to attempt to 'Frankenstein' all the components the client liked (while removing the ones they didn't) into a smaller subset of designs.  It took us two rounds of this to settle on the final design that everybody (both clients and designers) was in love with. Conundrum Coffee had a logo, and in the nick of time!



Next it was time to decide on a color palette (it's our standard practice to do all logo development in black and white as introducing different colors into different concepts will influence clients appreciation of the concepts).  We mocked up several versions of the logo with our ideal color scheme, our favorite having an orange "U" and blue "M" to signify hot and cold. We presented these mockups to the client and then in real-time we mixed and matched and moved colors around on the logo until all the possibilities had been explored.  In the end client went with the version our designers liked best. They really know what they're doing! It took a lot of man-hours and meeting time, but Conundrum Coffee had a beautiful color logo in about a week’s time.

Next week: We look at how the logo became a website, coffee packaging, and more! Will the Clay Pot Creative team be able to pull this launch off by Brewfest? Dun dun dun…

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