(You can read part 1, where we talk about why we decided to rebrand, here.)
Our old logo was great for our start. Designed by ourselves (here’s the first mockup, and some others we were considering), it had the right feel - bold, rugged, a little rough around the edges. We wanted to be kind of no-nonsense about things. The font (an insider’s word for the type of text) we found had the look of water running down glass, and that appealed to us at the time. After a few tweaks, we were good to go.
Likewise, our packaging worked for us when we started. A little rough (especially initially - oh man, we used to stamp & hand write EACH hang tag. Not a prospect we’d consider today.) but rugged. The wrappers with the bold textures in our signature blue let people quickly & clearly see which soap was which. These textures became kind of the backbone of the packaging.
As we grew, we started to need other types of packaging - labels for beard oils, hand balms, and more. We worked the textures in as best we could, but it started to feel like Frankenstein. We hadn’t really planned for growth when we started Burly Stone, so stuff began to feel like it was all cobbled together (which it was).
The words we used had started to grow as well. The language on our website (which has ALSO undergone several major upgrades) initially reflected where we were, but as we grew, and got a better understanding of who YOU are, we realized we weren’t checking all the boxes. We needed to dig deeper to really pull you guys in, and hit you with all the feels.
When we started Burly Stone, we had no idea what it might grow into. I’m sure most entrepreneurs can tell you this - you get an idea that fuels your passion & you start to chase it. As you do, it grows & changes. A lot will keep pushing, and plowing ahead, and that’s great. But the smart ones? They’ll occasionally step back & take a look at what they’ve got, where they stand. One of our mentors puts it this way: You need to take some time to work on your business, not just in your business.
With that thought in mind, in January we took a week-long retreat (we retreated to our local Starbucks each day. We’re on a budget, after all.) We looked at our numbers, our social media presence, and really dug into the guts of Burly Stone. Our takeaway? We weren’t in a bad place, but we could be in a much stronger place. We needed to focus & hone our brand, and our messaging.
We took an eight-week intensive branding course that helped us tear Burly Stone back to the foundation – we looked at who our customers were, who we wanted them to be, and at every single element of our brand. I kid you not, we got as specific as “will we use exclamation points, will we use emojis?” (The answers, by the way, are “rarely”, and “really, really rarely”.)
We have a much better feel for Burly Stone now. On paper we’d rebuilt it from the ground up, with a stronger, solid foundation. We know who our MVP customer is (in brief: 25-45, highly skilled manual labor or tech, consumes lots of media, spiritual, but not religious - a big believer in karma) and what Burly Stone stands for (casual, rugged, bold, classic). One of the final things we did was pull all the pieces into a brand manifesto.
This is the heart of Burly Stone:
With the groundwork laid, we needed to put all this knowledge into action. We needed a new logo that would better represent us. We needed updated packaging that was more cohesive & in line with our brand. We needed new pictures and an updated website. We needed… a designer.
Stay tuned for the next part of this series, where we dig into the logo & packaging redesign. In the meantime - check all of our new packaging out in our store, and make sure you sign up for our newsletter here.
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