Are you wondering what happens to my Brick House Branding alumni post-graduation? What they do with the momentum and new-found knowledge? Curious about where they take their businesses in the year following all that hard work?
I’m back with another installment in my “Where Are They Now?” series and I’m doing-cartwheels-excited to show you the serious waves my BHB graduates are making!
SAY HELLO TO ANGELA OF ANGEL MINARO
This week I’m thrilled to catch up with my Brick House Branding graduate Angela of Angel Minaro. Angela really embraced my message to niche, niche, niche (and niche some more), and she turned a good brand into a great brand. The transformation is stunning! Welcome, Angela! We’re so glad to have you here.
Lucky Break: Why and when did you originally launch your company?
Angela: At college, I specialized in product formulation and so I had always dabbled in making skin and body care products. I had dreamed of having a skincare store but never really did anything to realize that dream. In 2009, my now-husband and more than a few friends and colleagues got let go from their jobs. It seemed to be commonplace at the time. I felt a deep anxiety that I needed to have something to fall back on if indeed I ended up with the same fate, so I went to work and started seriously formulating and creating skincare products that I could market as a serious business. In 2011 after a lot of hard work, Angel Minaro launched and I was so very proud of it.
Lucky Break: At what point did you know it was time for a rebrand?
Angela: After a few years in business, I really wasn’t seeing any progress or results. I had a few accounts here and there and a few sales. I was working very hard but the business wasn’t profitable, so I knew there was something missing. I don’t think I ever really knew that I needed a rebrand until I took Lela’s Brick House Branding class.
While taking the class, I shockingly realized that I didn’t really know what a brand was and how deep branding is. I began to realize that that was at the root of the problem.
Lucky Break: Please share a significant realization about the brand development process that you discovered while in Brick House Branding.
Angela: For me, the brand development process was very emotional. I realized that I didn’t have a brand identity or an ideal client. It was very gut-wrenching to me when I got to the realization that I had worked so hard for so many years and that I would literally have to start again. I had to get to this point emotionally though to realize that I couldn’t hold on to the past and to be willing to move on.
I had to figure out who my ideal client was and get to know her inside out. Her wants and needs, likes and dislikes, everything!
It dawned on me that I needed my brand to resonate with my ideal client as strongly as my old brand did with me. It had to be all about her, and all of a sudden it clicked for me what branding was all about.
Lucky Break: What professionals did you tag in to help with the process, and what pieces of the branding puzzle did you DIY?
Angela: I hired the same graphic designer who designed my old labels to work on the new labels and boxes because we have a really good working relationship. This time though, I was armed with all the information I needed to convey what I wanted from her. Not just… “Make it pretty”! I didn’t have that before.
Gilah Press and design printed the labels and Custom Boxes Corp printed my product boxes. They were so helpful. I got the super talented Madam Scodioli (a referral from Lucky Break Consulting) to take my product shots and as you can see, the difference is crystal clear.
I will be writing my own product descriptions, and this is purely due to financial reasons but as soon as I can swing it, I’ll be tagging in a professional to do that.
Lucky Break: What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during the rebranding process?
Angela: Trying to figure out my brand identity and time!
First of all, I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t really have a brand, and then trying figure out my brand identity was hard and took me a long time. I also had a timeline for completing the rebrand, but I’m learning fast that life gets in the way and that’s the reason I still haven’t officially relaunched. But I’m still pushing through. If you want it bad enough, you have to keep going, and that’s what I’m doing.
As painstakingly slow as the progress has been, I look at where I started and where I am now and I’m really proud of how far I’ve come.
Lucky Break: How has your own perception of your brand evolved since graduating from Brick House Branding?
Angela: Honestly I feel more confident about my brand. It is more cohesive. I feel more comfortable pitching to my ideal client because I believe my pitch. I know what I’m offering and who I’m offering it to. The old brand really wasn’t speaking to anyone and was completely all over the place.
Lucky Break: Are your products are being received differently by others since the rebrand? How has their reaction evolved?
Angela: It has been received very well. The feedback I’ve had from the focus groups has been overwhelmingly positive and most importantly the reactions and feelings that I’m trying evoke with my products seem to be happening. The rebrand has been having a more emotional response than the…“Your products are good” response!
Lucky Break: Can you share a recent win that you’ve realized because of the rebrand?
Angela: A few upscale wedding industry professional have inquired about including my products as gifts to their clients. I’m really excited but also feel a bit intimidated.
Lucky Break: How did Brick House Branding experience help shape your branding process?
Angela: It was my road map. It literally helped me realize that I didn’t have a brand and that I had to start from scratch. Once that happened, I found that it was a complete guide that helped me figure out what I was offering, who I was offering it to and how to do it…very well!
I’m always referring to the Brick House Branding curriculum when I’m working on any aspect of my brand.
Lucky Break: 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?
Angela: I wish I knew how emotional it would be. I would say to someone who’s getting ready to start the brand development process that they should come in with an open mind and be ready for some really hard and intense physical and emotional work. But it’s so worth it!!!!
Thanks for catching up with us, Angela. We can’ t wait to see what comes next for you and Angel Minaro… We’re cheering you on!
If you’d like to build a stronger, smart brand in 2019, then I hope that you’ll consider joining me in the winter semester of Brick House Branding. This 9-week brand development mentorship 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 opens on October 2!