Branding Design Process
'None Of Your Beeswax'
The name was one the most important, yet easy decision to make as it is vital in portraying the brands intended image. I chose None Of Your Beeswax initially to bring home the absence of Paraffin wax and Bees wax which are more commonly used in candles. I wanted to make a candle that was vegan, and doesn't expel harmful gases into the atmosphere.
It is fun, rolls of the tongue and it easy to remember, and instills the brands values within society, and links to the witty copyright that is common with many other homemade products.
At first, I wanted to plan out and brainstorm elements of my brand that I wanted to focus on. This led to development of the theme, elements of the brand that would be highlighted (USP).
I also planned out scent combinations and their benefits to make sure the products were actually a success and worked.
This stage of planning also included practical product testing to measure the length of burn time, scent distribution and quality of the wax used. This was a vital step in the planning process, as the branding could be the best in the world, but if the product doesn't live up to the intended promises, then it is not a successful brand.
I also documented a lot of the making and experimentation process on the brands Instagram page, which allows customers to see the process and understand the developing of the product, establishing trust for the brand and product. It's important that as a brand, it has an open, honest communication with the customers, especially if we are advocating the homemade and sustainable factors.
Since 'None Of Your Beeswax' is a small business with a growing organic following behind it, sharing the progress and process of every stage and getting feedback on the different stages has been vital for the product development.
If the customer doesn't agree with certain elements of the branding or the overall design, they would be less intended to choose this brand over a larger mass-produced brand such as Yankee Candles.
Sharing this with current and potential customers has begun to create a strong community of loyal brand users.
Since I already knew I was going to be using recycled glass jars for the candles, I spent a lot of time focusing on label positioning and what information was going to be presented and where.
This was then tested out on prototype candles to test on how good the planned positioning was for displaying the information.
Now, it was decided to keep the main label/logo on the front packaging and the name of the scented candle as the main label on the jar. This way it clearly separates the intended message: Name of Brand to Specific product name.
Feedback I received from both customers and lecturers was to imagine if this candle was on the shelf of a shop, and that they would prefer to see the name of the brand front and centre on the packaging, before anything else, making sure that it was memorable.
This is the earliest iteration of some label + banner designs with the intended use of placing those on our Etsy page (Our most popular platform for selling)
What they succeeded at was clear product information and a solid introduction to the intended brand goals. It was important to include those on a selling site, as it gives the customer the essential information to figure out if they want to purchase or it coincides with their own consumer values.
However, the design is quite simplistic and fails to put across the intended impact of this being a unique product to have in your home.
These were the second attempt of label design which was presentedfor feedback to my peers and lecturers.
I wanted to play into the use of colour in communicating the specific time of day the candles would be most effective. I kept them a simple block colour that all complemented each other but still held a small reference to the colour of the sky at different stages of the day.
I tried hand drawing a logo which also communicated that, acting as the sun at different points again. Yet, it was pointed out, that if I hadn't explained that point, it would have been misunderstood.
Overall, the designs of the labels were boring and lacked impact and were quite confusing the the brands messages.
The typography was also quite weak, as it was quite difficult to read (up close and from far away- so if that was in a shop, it would fail to catch the eye of a customer). It did have some of the intended whimsy and charm of a hand drawn type, however it was just too difficult to read.
With that feedback, I went back and tried to focus on including more natural vectors and elements into my design- as this was a big part of my intended guidelines, but there was a significant lack of that so far.
I still played with the colour of the sky but now with more obvious drawings to signify that. But, it still looked clumsy and mismatched.
I decided to focus on including one specific set of images next, keeping in touch with the natural side of the brand with watercolour style leaves. The use of the muted background colour related to the specific time of day they were intended for and I had found a set of fonts that worked well together and received positive feedback.
These designs added a cohesiveness to the brand image that I hadn't yet achieved and they did look more professional but still contained evidence of the charming attitude i wanted to get across, especially with the copywriting used.
Whilst I was happy with my current designs, it still felt like they weren't as unique and as eye-catching as they could be. Purely because there were still so many elements left out. These wouldn't match with my intended rustic style hessian packaging and did just look like any other candle which you could buy.
It was recommended that a combined use of a more rustic feel and strong, yet simple graphic elements to further reinforce the brand.
P. Badke-Schaub and E. Voute wrote in their study: 'Design Methodology: Where do you go?' that often when deciding on a research methodology it can be unstructured a the beginning. This depending on the familiarity of the subject matter the designer has. I knew of the popularity of candles and the development of more sustainable and conscious products, which made my direction somewhat clear. However I knew little about the scope of properly branding a product and how the intended messages could be properly presented. It is also mentioned in the study that this model above can be more or less concrete, but it allows for adaptability and instant reactions. This was prevalent in my case, as if the feedback I received proved my design was failing, then I could instantly adapt to it and solve the problem.
Whilst my design work followed a pattern of trial and error, when it came to planning the intended branding goals- which allowed me to structure my design work somewhat- I opted for following the Golden Circle Methodology. This allowed me to pinpoint the unique selling points, what position my brand would have in society, and the brands core beliefs and purposes.
This was a useful methodology to follow, because when I felt unable to move forward with the design process, it provided a helpful reminder of my desired intentions for this brand.