Live class with both group + personalized support from lela
Brick House Branding, Live Semester (out of stock) ELEMENTOR
In the midst of crowded marketplaces, why do some companies seem to garner all the buzz, collect raving fans, land on the shelves of the most amazing stores, and the pages of the most coveted magazines, while other brands are perpetually treading water? The key lies in strategic brand development that sees, affirms, and reflects your target audience. Enrollment in this 9-week brand development mentorship will re-open on June 23 for the fall 2020 semester!
At this very moment, there are more businesses in operation than at any other time in human history. As barriers to entry into the marketplace continue to decrease, new brands will continue to come into being. The emergence of a tsunami of fresh products and small businesses is a clear signal that it’s time to get serious about transcending the commodity market.
Commodities are products that can easily be substituted one for another. Essentially, they’re items for which a demand exists, but there’s no qualitative difference across a marketplace. If your soap/greeting cards/candles/jewelry/apparel is viewed by consumers as a commodity, then it can easily be passed over for another option that’s cheaper and more readily available. Being perceived as a commodity is the kiss-of-death for creative products.
Brands, on the other hand, create differentiated products that are highly desired by their customer base. Brand customers have a degree of loyalty, seeking out these specific products in the marketplace, and they’re less likely to substitute products based on price and availability.
WAIT… DID YOU CATCH THAT?
Building a strong, effective brand creates loyal customers. These customers don’t have a wandering eye that’s tempted by the lower price or wider availability of other products. Not only that, but these cats are genuinely excited to spread your message to their friends and family. Since they understand your product’s inherent value and crave the experience that only you can deliver, they’re happy to pay premium prices for your offering.
Here’s the hard truth: Creating beautiful and functional products isn’t enough to become competitive in the modern marketplace. Those products are simply the price of entry to the market. To build a brand that’s poised for sustainable growth, you must clearly define your core values, understand your audience, cultivate powerful emotional resonance, and develop memorable customer experiences.
I’ve been tilling this fertile ground for more than a decade, studying the mechanics of brand-building and creating a few wildly successful brands of my own. I’ve had the honor of coaching several hundred brands as they build effective brand architecture and I’d love to do the same for you, too.
- The competitive landscape is feeling mighty crowded. New brands pop up in your space every week, with too much overlap and way too many shades of grey.
- You’re “lost at sea” when you think of how your work fits into the broader marketplace. It seems like everyone is in your dance space and you feel like you’re slowly being eaten alive.
- You’re frustrated by efforts to connect with and understand your customers. You know they must be out there, but you’re struggling to understand where to find them, how to speak to them, and how to compel them to action. This whole shooting-in-the-dark thing is exhausting!
- You’re unable to charge what you know your products are worth. There’s a breakdown in the value communication of what you create, so you’ve been keeping your pricing artificially low in hopes that it will help tickle sales. But either it’s not working at all or it’s working… and you’re broke.
- You’ve been cobbling together a brand through piecemeal efforts, working to build each piece of your marketing strategy dot-by-dot, but connecting all of those dots together is proving to be a challenge. The brand feels disjointed and inconsistent.
- You’ve been making what you love, but operating on auto-pilot without thinking more broadly about what makes your work different, meaningful, and memorable. You need to cultivate strong differentiation and value.
- You’re unclear about how your work fits within the broader marketplace. But how can you possibly outwit, outplay, and outlast the competition when you don’t understand who you truly are and who you’re in the ring with?
- Your target customer is too broad and unfocused. You’ve been concentrating on their demographics (age, gender, location) to the exclusion of their psychographics (what makes them tick, the common ties that bind, their most closely held beliefs). Spoiler alert: Unlocking an intimate understanding of your people also unlocks a world of marketing possibilities.
- There are kinks and weak spots in the brand presentation that create doubt in the mind of your customer. Building consistency fuels trust, and putting your best foot forward in the brand presentation enables you to command premium pricing… and actually get it.
- You’re looking at each piece of the brand development puzzle without considering the whole. You need “big picture” thinking and a seasoned hand who can weave the various pieces of your brand together into one cohesive message that resonates deeply with the people you most want to serve.
EFFECTIVE BRANDING IS MORE THAN SKIN DEEP
My holistic approach to branding is thoughtfully crafted especially for creative, product-based businesses. It blends critical brand strategy with a stellar visual presentation and compelling customer experiences. Over the course of our nine weeks together, we focus on…
- Discovering how to position your work to create clear, meaningful differentiation within the marketplace.
- Cultivating an intimate understanding of your dream customer and what makes them tick.
- Building emotional resonance that cultivates loyalty among that target audience.
- Determining how to select a strong and unique brand name that you can trademark at the federal level.
- Learning how to position your brand within the marketplace by identifying competitive and complementary brand sets.
- Crafting a brand manifesto to serve as magnet for the people you most want to serve.
- Developing a compelling brand voice that builds connection with your audience.
- Clearly communicating your brand story to eloquently share your passion and rally your audience around you.
- Crafting a compelling “about” page and persuasive product descriptions.
- Designing an editorial calendar for your blog (no more “What in the hell am I supposed to talk about now?”).
- Exploring which social media platforms best serve your brand and developing a content strategy for each of those platforms.
- Creating a blueprint for your email marketing efforts.Discovering the principles behind effective logo design and the psychology of color.
- Exploring how to effectively work with graphic designers to keep projects on-budget and moving along on an agreeable timeline.
- Curating a visual style guide to ensure that your brand aesthetics are consistently articulated.
- Understanding how to capture persuasive product images for your website, line sheets, and media kit.
- Designing customer service policies and an enriched unboxing experience that spawns an army of raving fans.
- Peeling back the curtain on creative brands who are rocking retail, wholesale, and the media.
- Learning how to apply those same branding principles to your company, no matter how deep your wallet or how far along you are in your entrepreneurial journey.
I’ve designed a proven brand development blueprint that provides the knowledge, tools, support, and structure you need to step boldly into the marketplace with confidence and clarity. The live semester experience combines the best of both worlds: community accountability plus one-on-one support working directly with me.>
My name is Lela Barker (hi!) and I’ve been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2003. I launched an apothecary brand with zero idea about how to succeed in business and about as many dollars in my pocket. As a single mother of two young toddlers, I was having a hell of a time finding a job that worked for my family. Out of sheer desperation, I started a small business with the hope that it would help me keep the lights on while I looked for a “real job.”
While I’ve never gone back to the traditional workforce, I have created plenty of “real jobs” through my companies. I landed more than 1500 wholesale accounts, accumulating $12million+ in sales. I’ve been able to indulge my love of travel by visiting more than thirty countries to promote my product collection, establish distributorships, and build sourcing collaborations. It’s been a wild, empowering ride that I never expected though I’m deeply grateful for every drop of it. I founded Lucky Break in 2012 so that I could share my hard-won lessons from the entrepreneurial trenches with other business owners.
I have a passion for creative, product-based businesses and I’ve had the honor of helping thousands of them navigate product pricing, wholesale strategy, and brand development. This branding piece just-so-happens to be my favorite because I’m keenly aware of the power that it holds to catapult a business forward. Brick House Branding is my flagship program for serious makers-on-the-move who are ready to level-up and be heard.
Learn directly from branding pros + iconic brand owners
When you reserve a seat in Brick House Branding, you unlock an opportunity to hear from a collective of seasoned branding professionals. Each week, I'll introduce you to another superstar in my entrepreneurial circle, and together we'll dive deep into their area of expertise. These in-depth, exclusive video interviews support and expand key areas of the curriculum, providing inspiration, information, and fuel for your business journey. Roll over each of them to reveal what these experts will be dishing on!
PERSONAL GUIDANCE, COMMUNITY SUPPORT, AND A ROBUST BRANDING TOOLBOX
This 9-week mentorship offers the best of both worlds: group support and accountability blended with private coaching and direct feedback. I adore a good win-win! The number of participants is intentionally capped to ensure that you receive personal guidance and plenty of access to me as we unpack these teachings. We’ll kick things off together as a community on the same day and then methodically work through a progressive blueprint of brand development that builds and layers upon itself.
Here’s how that works…
- SATURDAYS: On Saturdays throughout the semester, I release a series of information-rich video trainings, each singularly focused on a critical building block of brand development. Every module is accompanied by a packet of support materials, including detailed resource lists and deep-diving worksheets designed to guide you through putting the information into immediate action for your business.
- FRIDAYS: We gather together each week for 90 minutes of Q+A on a group Office Hours call, providing an opportunity to build community, clarify curriculum, and review coursework to ensure that you’re on the right track. It’s hard to imagine how helpful listening to other people work through brand development is… until you actually hear it. These group calls are one of the most celebrated facets of the program, and each one is recorded, so you can enjoy all the action even if you can’t join us live.
- EVERY THREE WEEKS: You and I meet on a private call so that I can offer personalized guidance. I’ll roll up my sleeves to tailor curriculum, gut-check the viability of your plans, help you see the brand through a fresh lens, and keep you motivated and moving forward. We’ll enjoy three private calls throughout the semester, totaling more than two hours of private consulting, and you’ll be invited to schedule them all before our semester kickoff begins.
Before we meet for the private calls, I’ll ask you to beam over select pieces of the BHB coursework, so that I can guide your progress and support you every step of the way.
DIVE INTO BHB ON A SCHEDULE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
I’ve designed every aspect of this mentorship to fit conveniently into your lifestyle and calendar.
- Curriculum Videos and Expert Interviews are available 24/7 in your personalized Virtual Classroom. You can study at your own pace, any time of day or night. The classroom is accessible anywhere in the world and from virtually any mobile device. Watch videos while parked in the carpool line, while riding the subway, while strolling through the grocery store, or while sweating it out on a treadmill.
- New curriculum modules drop on Saturday mornings, enabling you to dive in on the weekends or work in the evenings. Either way, you’ll be prepared for the Office Hour call at the end of each week.
- The schedule for all eight Office Hour Calls is published months before the semester begins, so you can plan ahead and join me live as often as possible. And no worries if you can’t make it to a call! Each one is recorded and uploaded to the Virtual Classroom as an MP3 file, so you can catch up at a time that’s convenient for you.
- I’ve opened up my calendar and set aside time during select evenings and weekends for our private calls. You’ll be able to book each of your three sessions before the semester begins, so you enjoy plenty of notice and ample flexibility. I have call times available during business hours and on select evenings and weekends. And they’re all recorded, too, so you can ease into the conversation without ever picking up a pen to take notes!
- Enjoy lifetime curriculum access so you can revisit the modules as often as needed as you continue implementing the principles taught in BHB after graduation of the live semester.
The first semester of 2020 kicks off on January 18 and concludes on March 13. Claim your spot now to make 2020 the year of your business!
Hear from graduates
Before + After
Strong branding dives deep below the surface to create meaningful differentiation and we work mighty hard on that together in Brick House Branding. Once we've built the skeletal system of your brand, we layer on stunning visuals that attract your target customers like bees to honey. Roll over the logos below to peek at the "before" logos and enjoy a few of my favorite transformations!
Am I ready?
BHB IS DESIGNED FOR YOU IF…
- You’re nurturing a product-based business. Apothecary brand owners, ceramicists, jewelers, stationers, houseware designers, apparel mavens, chandlers, and purveyors of gourmet food… I’m looking at you!
- You’re tired of shouting into empty caves, wandering aimlessly in search of customers, pricing below what you know your products are worth, and watching all those other brands become the darlings of store buyers and magazine editors.
- You’re willing to play the “long game” and are keen on building sustainable success.
- You’re committed to working hard. My brand development system is robust, and it requires both introspection and an appetite for action.
You don’t need to be in the pre-launch phase to reap the benefits of Brick House Branding. In fact, the majority of my graduates don’t consider themselves new brands at all. They’ve been at the grind for a while now, but they’re not getting the traction they crave. Not enough customers are engaging, not enough wholesale buyers are nibbling, editors aren’t talking about the brand, and they can’t charge the prices needed to turn healthy profits. If that feels all-too-familiar, then it’s a strong indicator that further brand development is needed.
This program is a detailed business diagnostic designed to build your knowledge base and reveal which facets of your brand need refining. It marries those new insights with fresh tools and a sage mentor, empowering you to reinvent your marketing and position the company for record growth.
But I want to be clear: I recommend taking a pass for now if you’re unable to commit 8-10 hours per week for nine weeks to build a solid foundation beneath your business. My clients are people of action, and we move through the coursework as a group. I need you to be ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy with an active tribe of serious entrepreneurs!
Finally, it’s important to note that this program isn’t designed for service-based businesses. But makers and product designers? Oh, yes.
THE SMARTEST INVESTMENT YOU’LL MAKE IN YOUR BUSINESS
Almost nothing makes me happier than hearing “Seriously, why didn’t I do this sooner?” and “This is the best money I’ve ever spent in my business!” at the conclusion of every semester.Want to hear directly from my graduates? Scroll down to the bottom of this page to read unfiltered reviews from more than 100 alumni. I’ve published every single one that’s ever been submitted. They’re all 5-star, posted by actual participants, and no one’s been compensated for offering their feedback. I’m proud of the track record and reputation that I’ve developed.
Tuition for the Brick House Branding mentorship is locked in at $1800 for 2020, but the value far exceeds the price of admission. Because I want to ensure that this opportunity is within reach, you can elect to spread the tuition over four monthly payments of $475 each. Reserve your spot with a deposit today and I’ll bill your final three payments through a recurring billing program.
I’m happy to put my money where my mouth is, too. If you do the work and don’t believe this experience is serving you well, then you can request a full refund. I’ve never once had it happen, but the offer is squarely on the table!
My hourly consulting rate is $299 and my calendar typically books out 6-8 weeks in advance. If I were to deliver this curriculum to brand owners one-on-one, the cost would easily top $7500. By assembling a small-but-mighty collective of makers and product designers who can work through the program together, I’m able to group-teach and keep the investment surprisingly affordable without sacrificing the efficacy of the curriculum or the value of the experience.
BUILD YOUR ROADMAP FOR A SUCCESSFUL + SUSTAINABLE BRAND
Before enrolling in BHB, many of my brand owners were trying to piecemeal their business by collecting guidance from around the internet, but all of that information doesn’t necessarily apply to your business, which leads to mounting frustration as you struggle to implement disjointed advice. And you might well be listening to a chorus of voices offering information via Facebook groups or friends. The problem? It’s either cookie-cutter advice that doesn’t help you stand out from the crowd or experimental strategy that may or may not prove successful in the end game. In contrast, Brick House Branding is a comprehensive, proven marketing roadmap for success that I help tailor to your unique brand.