Are you wondering what happens to my Brick House Branding alumni post-graduation? What they do with the momentum + new-found knowledge? Curious about where they take their businesses in the year following all that hard work? This month I’m resurrecting my “Where Are They Now?” series, catching up with BHB graduates who are truly “leveling up” their creative businesses. I love sharing these “before + after” case studies for several reasons: they provide inspiration for other brand owners who are working through a similar process (or wish they were), they provide tangible direct-from-the-trenches advice and recommendations, and they provide an opportunity for me to show off some of my favorite grads. Look for a fresh blog each Wednesday for the next 6-8 weeks… I hope you’ll join me in cheering on these makers + product designers!
I’m excited to introduce you to Lisa Kennally of Wild Air Skincare, who creates fresh, aromatic, natural skincare products that are inspired by the timeless beauty and seasons of New England. She was generous enough to share the rebranding experience that her company (formerly known as Lisa Ann Skincare) has recently undergone in the aftermath of her graduation from Brick House Branding. Welcome, Lisa… we’re honored to share your story.
LBC: Why and when did you originally launch your company?
Lisa: I launched in 2004. I had always wanted to start my own business and it was just a matter of discovering what type of business to have and when I should start it. As a teenager my mom and I would create our own “DIY” facials and I loved the natural aspect of using ingredients found in our kitchen. I have always been a label-reader and looked for products that contained ingredients that are as natural as possible while also being effective.
After a career in sales for the publishing industry and working for my dad’s packaging business, the time was right for me to start a business, and combined with my love for natural products, spas and natural beauty. I decided to try my hand at whipping up body scrubs and body butters. I took my time researching raw ingredients online and looked for recipe resources then just started creating and testing. The rest is history, as they say!
LBC: At what point did you know it was time for a rebrand?
Lisa: In my gut, I had known for a few years before the decision was made, and what I needed was confirmation from someone who was objective. That confirmation came from Lela during a coaching call and the process started the minute I hung up the phone! The wheels were spinning in my head and all for a good reason.
LBC: Please share a significant realization about the brand development process that you discovered while in Brick House Branding.
Lisa: I struggled a bit in two areas during the process. One realization I had was that choosing a new name for my business was going to take longer than I thought, and probably wouldn’t occur until the class was over. The other significant realization was that I needed to lock into what my brand’s differentiation point is – or in other words, the “hook” to the brand – and that the re-brand would center on what that message is. It may sound obvious that in a branding class this would be part of developing our brands, but the content and process of going through the rebrand is not an easy one and required a great deal of deep thinking and reflection. Fortunately Lela’s coaching was instrumental and gave me the confidence to move forward.
LBC: What professionals did you tag in to help with the process, and what pieces of the branding puzzle did you DIY?
Lisa: I tagged in a few professionals to assist with the re-naming, brand visuals, website design, product photography and package design. I interviewed several for the website design and naming plus the brand visuals, and am grateful for all of them. Eric Kass of Funnel Incorporated (a graphic designer) assisted with the name choosing and brand visuals; October Ink did the website design; and Andrea Hutton (a local graphic designer) worked with me on the packaging designs and other marketing materials. Carina Romano was the photographer.
LBC: What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during the rebranding process?
Lisa: I think the biggest obstacle was my own impatience with the process, but I learned to change my mindset from wanting everything to be done quickly to realizing that the process is important to help solidify and make better decisions on the direction the brand needs to take.
LBC: How has your own perception of your brand evolved since graduating from Brick House Branding?
Lisa: With such a big change aesthetically, I still slip once in a while out of habit and refer to my business in its former name. I truly have grown to love the new look and feel of my new brand and am growing more comfortable with marketing it, too.
LBC: Can you share a recent win that you’ve realized because of the rebrand?
Lisa: I created a postcard highlighting one of the collections and sent it to wholesale prospects and current spa clients. One of my clients responded to it and asked for samples because it caught their eye but didn’t know it was me. Of course, I let them know who was behind the new name, and received compliments on the new aesthetic – so that made me very pleased!
LBC: How did the Brick House Branding experience help shape your branding process?
Lisa: I was open and ready to dig deep into rebranding, and the BHB class was very necessary and instrumental. I loved the rich content and the overall “soup to nuts” coverage of what branding is about. A key component of the class that shaped my experience was the guidance and specific feedback I received on our weekly consulting phone calls and through our private Facebook group. Without taking the class, the rebranding process could have been more disjointed and cumbersome.
LBC: What do you wish you had known at the beginning of the brand development process? What advice would you give to someone who’s getting ready to start the brand development process?
Lisa: If I had known before the process started what I wanted my brand’s “hook” to be, the name, and which professionals I should work with along the way, the process would have been quicker. In hindsight, though, taking my time and letting the brand unfold was meant to be. I do think going through a major change is a process that needs to be thoughtful and reflective.
Thanks for catching up with us, Lisa! We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you + Wild Air Skincare. We’re cheering you on!
If you’d like to build a stronger, smart brand in 2017, then I also hope that you’ll consider joining me in the spring semester of Brick House Branding. This 8-week brand development incubator dissects awesome brands and then helps you build your own, brick by brick, with me working right alongside you to cheer you on and ensure that you’re on the right track. Enrollment for the first semester of 2018 opens on October 3rd and closes after 10 days, or as soon as we sell out of seats… so if you know you want a spot, be sure to mark your calendar today to ensure you don’t miss out. I’d welcome an opportunity to work with you!