Behind the scenes this week

Happy Friday, lovely people.  I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell you about what we have been up to this week.


Deep in conversations…


Much of the day to day work at Opal & Co takes place through our conversations with clients, photographers, graphic designers and website developers, and this week has been no different.  Face to face, five-way Skype, Slack, Whatsapp, or good ol’ fashioned landlines, chat chat chat is business as usual.

Our process doesn’t get captured in pictures as it would if, like many of our clients, we were creating breathtaking floral installations or designing dreamy interiors.  But these conversations are rich with ideas and energy as we work together to challenge conventions, solve problems, make decisions, and create action plans.  Within these conversations is where the creativity, value, trust, humour and magic lie.


A deliciously sweet photoshoot…


This week I have been planning a photoshoot for cake designer, Sue Mills.  We have been working with Sue over a number of months now, guiding her through a project-by-project process as she totally reinvents her brand.

We began at the beginning with a Brand Blueprint which included a new business positioning and name, and then handed this over to a graphic designer to create the visual identity.  Meanwhile we wrote a plan for a new website, and will be starting work on the website copy next week.

We’re working closely with the photographer to plan and style a shoot that communicates the values of the new brand, and also gives us all the images we need for the new website, PR and social media.  Once the photos are back the website will go into development for launch before Christmas.  And if Sue needs help “clearing” the cakes after the shoot, we will selflessly volunteer for that, too.


Don’t always start at the beginning…


Broadly speaking, there is a logical process to follow for branding and marketing projects:


Brand Blueprint > Visual Identity > Website > Marketing


Often clients come to us because they know they need the second, third or forth step. The obvious, tangible steps like a logo, a website, help with their Instagram.  Or they go straight to a graphic designer or web developer, without working out what they want their new visual identity or website to actually say (that’s the Brand Blueprint part).  We are lucky to work with a number of brilliant consultants who will refer their clients to us for a Brand Blueprint before they pick up their sketchbooks.   That’s because they know that with a clearly defined vision for the brand in their sights, their designs will hit the mark bang on. And that tends to make their client delirious with happiness.

Having said all of that, we are not afraid to shake up this process if we think it’s the right thing for our client.  This week I met with a potential new client who would like to spend some time working on her brand.  So did I propose a Brand Blueprint?  Not this time.  Having dug a bit deeper into her business and motivations, I suggested a quick, tactical marketing plan which will allow her to grab the Christmas retail opportunity that is just around the corner.  Then in the new year, having had a bit more time to think and a few more sales through the books, we can re-visit the brand.

I hope these snippets have given you some insight into how we work.  If you have enjoyed reading please drop me a comment below, and I’ll dig out some more pearls of wisdom over the coming weeks.  Have a great weekend.

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