Sep 9, 2009


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Here’s a good branding story for y’all.  When we arrived at the WaterColor Resort for our SW photoshoot, we were faced with an eight-foot stack of packages from various vendors.  We spent most of the first afternoon tearing into one package after another and honestly, as beautiful as the contents were, they all started to blur together after an hour or so.  And then we got to the package sent from Laura at xoelle.


And we all stopped.  And stared.  And ooh’ed and ahh’ed.  Her bowties were the hit of the weekend.  (Fred Egan loved the one we gave him so much that he slept in it) And possibly even more than the bowties, we were smitten with her packaging.  It was fresh, unique, reflective of her personality, and memorable — exactly what branding should be.  Today she’s here as a Branding Beauty to answer a few questions.


Please describe the different elements of your branding.

I run an online shop and blog, where my product photos all need to portray a consistent image.  I furnish customers with a super experience when they receive the product with unexpected packaging, business cards, hang tags, and thank you cards.  I also sell my items at local farmer’s markets and keep my booth space and signage consistent with my online presence.


What inspired your branding’s design elements, look, and feel?

Cheerfulness.  Simplicity.  I want my branding to feel familiar yet unexpected.  I like bold, clean colors and flat space.  I like squares and round edges.  I want to keep the element of handmade in everything that I do, so my business cards, hang tags, and thank you cards are all filled in by hand.  I chose elements that could be easily reproduced in various media so that I could continue to create more branding elements by hand.


Do you keep your company’s “look” cohesive across multiple branding platforms?  Why or why not, and how?

Yes!  I want a customer’s experience with me, in any form — in my store, on my blog, and in person — to feel the same.  It’s important for any business to be easily recognized by the client, and it is especially important for a little business like me to stand out and develop brand loyalty.  Hopefully, a customer will know that they are in an xoelle space (on Etsy, on my blog, Facebook, Flickr, etc.) because it has the same elements as all of the others.


Do you feel your physical branding echoes your or your company’s in-person and/or written persona?  How?

I created this little business as an extension of myself and what I love, so I hope that my branding echoes me and my personality.  The whole idea of bowtie wearing is to be a little different from the crowd and that’s what I am, too.  My hair is blue, my son’s middle name is Danger, and I don’t watch TV.  My blog is an important part of my branding efforts.  Hopefully it reflects who I am to my customers, and inspires them to want to create and live their own lives with more intention.


What is your favorite part of your branding?  What part would you most like to change?

My favorite part of my branding is its flexibility.  I didn’t tie myself down to certain exact colors, but chose a palette of bright colors.  I can add, delete, or modify colors to suit holidays or new product rollouts.  I think it is important to constantly improve and keep your image fresh, so I’ve been thinking of adding some basic patterns here and there and reevaluating my packaging to see if there’s a way to keep it more in line with the rest of my branding materials.  It’s all a work in progress.


Name three other brands that you admire.

Johnny Cupcakes, The GAP, and Apple.

Look for more from xoelle in the November issue of Southern Weddings.

As always, if you or someone you know would make an excellent Branding Beauty, please send me an email: emily [at] laracaseyreps [dot] com.

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