Raise your hand if you’re ready to launch and sell a product and dream of seeing it stocked in brick and mortar stores. And not just any store: an iconic boutique with an amazing eye for design, a lovingly curated specialty shop that hearts its indie makers, a nationwide chain with a brand that rocks your socks off. The possibilities are endless.
Sherry Buechner was in this exact place when she hired Aeolidia to conceptualize her brand—everything from the logo to the packaging to collateral—for her hands-free travel bags for girls called HipCity Sak. She wanted an identity that would not only help her get into stores, but help her completely stand out.
During initial talks about the brand and mission, Sherry expressed how her bags were created to help little girls be adventurous, dream big, and be independent. Her passion played a huge role in how Aeolidia designer, Mariah, envisioned the initial logo concepts:
“The idea of reaching for the ‘stars’ was such a passionate point for you and I thought it was really such a beautiful sentiment to us as women, to the women you’ll employ one day soon, but especially to our daughters—the very ones who will be loving their new bag and running their fingers over it in admiration & love.”
Tip #1: Be clear, confident and passionate about your mission. It’ll often lead you to your target audience.
Inspired by all things twinkly and sparkly, Mariah’s three logo concepts included HipCity’s name paired with a launching rocket ship, the letters arranged like a cityscape, and a custom-lettering option that she envisioned in gold embossing. Option 3 won Sherry over almost immediately because it was on point with her branding goals to embrace girliness in a way that was sophisticated and empowering. Mariah took this initial concept and developed it into a full brand guide:
“The lettering is gorgeous, girly—I love the sparkle and its simplicity. It is so polished and really is great for our target audience.”
With the logo now freshly pressed, it was time to move on to packaging. Sherry had really done her homework by interviewing shop owners who were interested in her product. Many mentioned an aversion to items that have a logo all over the product, and customers echoed similar sentiments. Mariah agreed a less is more approach would be better: the logo’s placement on the product would be discreet and not overpowering.
Tip #2: Remember retailers are customers, too, and consider how best to reach them.
And what about the packaging itself? Sherry had suggested using a turquoise color scheme, and after some thought (and field trips to stores where Mariah could imagine HipCity being stocked) Mariah had a few alternate ideas. She’d been listening to Sherry’s input but was also reading between the lines, identifying ways that she could improve upon each idea:
“When you’re coming into the market with a brand new, innovative idea like yours, I really like to encourage you to be brave & innovative with your packaging as well, where possible. Be a leader, not a follower. Don’t let the innovation stop with your product, carry it through your entire brand!”
Tip #3: Shift from “I want to fit in with the competition” to “I choose to stand out from the rest.” Then use your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to help you do that.
As she fined-tuned the packaging, Mariah also worked on collateral like postcards, ribbons, buttons, stickers, and business cards, so that HipCity could have a complete package ready for their launch. The results were magical (those were actually Sherry’s words, not ours)!
“I mean again..tears…You worked so so hard (not for me) but WITH me. I think we had this beautiful communication that allowed magic to happen.”
Tip #4: Work with designers who will not only listen to your vision, but will take it to places you’d never even imagined. After all, we believe it’s called a launch for a reason. We can’t wait to help you with yours.