Monday, October 8, 2012

Hey, Sweet Pea!


Hello Fall Lovers...
   It is a perfect fall day here in North Carolina... fifty degrees, cool, overcast... the best day to wear a thick cardigan and nuzzle up with some hot chocolate while reading up on the amazing team of Hey, Sweet Pea! We first heard about these awesome peeps through the wonderful world of Facebook. Their energy, love for branding, and all around "sweet"ness, made me realize I had instantly met new friends. They are a talented group of lovelies who specialize in all things branding: logos, websites, blogs, helping you find who you are as a photographer! Plus, Elise and her hubby Scott both teach classes at The Define School (check them out!)  I love what Elise from Hey Sweet Pea is sharing with our amazing Sassyfras followers today. I honestly think it can apply to so many different people in the lovely world of business... photographers, stylists,  designers, planners, etc...
So, sit back and soak it all in!
Lollie and Cryssi


DIY Branding Tips
Let me first say how honored I am to know the Sassyfrass sisters. I've never met them in real life, but the interactions we've had via Facebook, Email, and Instagram made me fall in love with them from day one. You could say I have mad girl crushes on both of them. So when they asked me to guest blog, the answer was a huge resounding OF COURSE. 

Before we jump into some DIY branding tips, let me introduce myself. My name is Elise Grice and I am currently the Art Director/Co-Owner at "Hey, Sweet Pea." Our business specializes in branding development and custom digital design (Logos, Websites, Blogs, Social Media designs, etc.). We are now 1.5 years into being small business owners, after making the leap from working at the studios in Hollywood. Scott (my husband of six months) and I are busy planning the future of our business and so excited/humbled by our company’s success. We’ve met some of the most fantastic people and have been given some of the most amazing opportunities. We truly love what we do.

Branding is a huge undertaking and we work with our clients for months at a time, guiding them through an extensive soul searching process, to help them find their specific niche in the world. We love being a part of these branding journeys because of what individuals and companies discover along the way. My favorite part is the "AH-HA" moment: the moment when they figure out who they are, what they stand for, and why they exist. Obviously a process that extensive can't be written into just one blog post. But I wanted to share some of my favorite tips, for how to easily DIY a mini branding journey!

Focus your who, what, and why
Defining your brand anatomy starts with the “who, what, and why.” Sit down and honestly ask yourself these three questions:

1) Who am I?
2) What do I do?
3) Why does it matter?
The goal is to answer all three questions as unambiguously as possible. It’s harder than you would think. I will use our business as an example. In answering these questions, this is what I wrote:
1) We’re HEY, SWEET PEA, a digital branding and design company.

2) We specialize in creating visual concepts and strategic solutions for businesses seeking
fresh brands.
3) We help other businesses grow and develop healthy brands in an increasingly
digital world.

What did I just do? I focused who I was and what makes us different. I’ve also focused our brand to the core of what we do and want to be known for. I’ve boiled the who, what, and why down to its purest form.

Focus on what makes you unique
Specializing your business to a certain niche is vital. It’s not only vital because it helps you stick to the who, what, and why, but because of something you all dread: competition.
Ronald Manalastas explains specialization this way, “Specialization is the method of doing work for a singular, narrow, or limited scope of products, services, markets, or objectives. It is one of the most reliable and most durable operating platforms that any business can depend on. It builds strong internal capacity to profitably create and deliver value to the point of customer loyalty, delight, and advocacy. Specialization is predicated on having a superior positioning strategy very much difficult for others, more particularly competitors, to follow, imitate, or hurdle. It is a vital cog in building business viability and competitive strength. If you are a business owner, a professional, a manager, or even an employee, it is best to note that specialization involves the exercise of knowing, understanding, and focusing on your core competency in serving specific customer needs. The idea is to leverage your unique capabilities in the conduct of business in order to achieve appreciable efficiency and sustainable competitive advantage. You need not be everywhere doing everything for everybody in order to succeed in business.” 

Isn’t that concept freeing? You don’t have to accept work or create products you don’t want. To take it a step further, you shouldn’t accept work or create products you don’t want. Crazy, right? In the process of focusing and specializing, you’re actually doing what’s best for you and the future of your company. To summarize this concept, the benefits of specializing are:

1. It’s a reliable and durable way to build your business.
2. It allows the capacity to profitably create and deliver value.
3. It encourages customer loyalty, delight, and advocacy.
4. It provides a superior positioning strategy against competitors.

Focus on your ideal client
Who do you want to work with or create for? So many people struggle with this step because they don’t know how to accurately attract their ideal client. Don’t worry about how you’ll attract them just yet. Figure out who they are. I’m sure most of you have an idea in your head of who you’d love to work with, work for, create for, etc. It’s time to define them.

Let’s start with your favorite clients. Yes, we all have favorites. Let’s start with admitting that. But why are they your favorites? What makes you love working with or for one type of customer? I think using BRAND AGAINST THE MACHINE’S strategy is very helpful.

Assess your 10 favorite clients. And ask yourself questions about all of them. Questions like:
1) Were they respectful?
2) Were they male/female?
3) What age group were they in?
4) Where did they live?
5) How did you serve them?
6) What problems did they have that you solved?

Answering questions like that will help you build your own unique ideal customer profile. As BRAND AGAINST THE MACHINE says, “The answers to these questions help you identify who that ideal client or customer is. Once you know, you can target all of your efforts toward them. Your marketing can focus on solving their problems and showing them that your brand is the perfect fit for them. Most brands create a product or service and then go chasing after customers. This approach is completely backward. Picture your target clients, and then create solutions to their problems.”

My hope is that these three simple tips and exercises help you, dear reader, on your own branding journey! If you ever have questions, thoughts, or want to work with a specialist, we can help! We offer consulting sessions, online classes, and custom branding packages. You can get in touch with us via:







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  1. Thank you for having me!! Love you both!! =)

  2. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing HSP!