As I adventure through the odd subjects that intrigue me enough to imagine how I would brand them, like meditation, puppet theater, entomology or antique radios, I’m met with what amounts to days of research learning how these subjects are turned into legit businesses, and how only a few of those businesses end up succeeding. Branding may very well be part of that success quotient, but the actual skills behind the delivery of these services and products…that’s where I get amazed.
Some things we just take for granted in the common era. Simple tools like pots and pans, hammers and nails, mirrors and brushes. Most products like these in my home are made by gigantic companies that make 1M other thing-a-ma-jigs, homogeneously combining their surplus of materials, simplistic designs and the lion’s share of market value to all but exterminate smaller craft companies who focus on a much more narrow spectrum of production. There’s nothing wrong with expansion and diversification of course, it’s the classic American business tactic, but what it can sometimes do to an industry is weed out opportunities for ingenuity and enterprise.
This month I’m focusing on a client who took an interesting path on his way to developing a brand for a common tool. He started out as a graduate of mechanical engineering in the U.S., but afterwards took a drastic turn in life to indulge in his true dream of traveling to Europe and become a chef. This is the kind of guy who succeeds at everything he does, and after 10 years of success in the international food industry he saw yet another opportunity to combine his mechanical skills with his culinary love to develop his own line of cutlery. His name is Harrison Clyve, and as he began this new venture into the world of knife production he knew that if he respected his idea then it should come with a voice and face that captured his vision.
Clyve is the name he’s given his company. His designs are still in prototype stage, but he’s prepared with a launch to many home and kitchen supply stores that he’s brokered deals with over the past year to get his knives on the shelf once they’re in production. Without going into the details of its knife designs, Clyve has provided a creative brief that details their goals for standing out to the “budding chef.” They offer affordable alternatives for the highest-end cutlery while providing support for safe and correct knife handling. Though they do have an elite line of chef’s knives, they recognize the competition for such has been crafting cutlery for centuries and it’s a goal of theirs to target a wide blanket of skill level as opposed to the finest in the industry.
Clyve’s offered five words to help characterize their brand
Deliverables for the project include a logotype, a business card, and an impression upon the cutlery. There’s an interesting notion for the visuals that involves multiple iterations of a graphic, perhaps representing kitchen knife storage, an indication of actual product and product packaging, or some other diversified, or “diced” aspect to the branding. This is all something to ponder for now, first up is a little time learning about the industry and competitors, then onto inspiration and genesis. Quite a bit to get done in a month, better get cooking.