MADE WITH… reflections
TO FUEL CREATIVITY
Because I need to inspire myself. Because maybe it could inspire you too. Because I have a lot to say each day. Here are some thoughts I would like to share.
“Start with curiosity, not belief”
Lots of my clients say that they’re afraid to introduce themselves on their website or to post on social media because they’re scared that they won’t look serious and “professional” or that they don’t have the skills to do it well. Although it’s definitely a good idea to work with experts in communication (although I would say that ), you have to be bold, have a go, experiment (to understand what works and how to make improvements) and be authentic. We all want to “go behind the scenes” to see what the brands we use are really like, we all want to get to know the professionals we work alongside. But we expect transparency and, these days, we won’t be fooled. The bad buzz around some brands is a good example of this. So take the plunge and be yourself!
I’ve loved music since I was a child. I started music classes at the age of 3 (and I have a wonderful photo of me from that time, dressed as a musical note, which I sadly seem to have “misplaced”…), I took piano lessons for 10 years and I continue to sing today. I recently read an article comparing music and cooking and I thought that there are similar parallels between music and branding! ✔ The search for the right sound, looking for the right chords for a great melody ✔ Harmony between all the different elements that make up the brand identity ✔ The importance of silence: it’s just as vital as the music! It prevents an overload of information, ensuring that important messages are retained ✔ The conductor (me 😅) who co-ordinates everything to guarantee overall coherence ✔ The musician (the client) who plays the score and brings the brand to life by performing it and adding intention and emotion ✔ The instrument which must be properly tuned but isn’t enough on its own… Because without energy, without dedication, a name and a visual identity are just empty shells. But with these qualities, they take on a whole new dimension! Does that ring any bells for you?
THE INFLUENCE OF YOUR PERSONAL HISTORY
The hotel and restaurant “Au Coq en Velours” is a family affair. It was opened in 1900 by my great-grandfather who shared his knowledge with my grandfather and then with my uncle; in turn, he has modernized the restaurant while retaining its original character (and let me take this opportunity to recommend it to you when it reopens). So I spent my weekends in the kitchens (making shortbread and eating pickles and chocolate apparently!). It’s only recently that I realized how this unusual experience may have influenced my personality. My love of delicious food (but not for cooking, sadly!). I’ve worked for lots of food brands and restaurants. But thinking about it, maybe it goes further: for example, my grandfather came up with the name (inspired by the restaurant’s signature recipe) and designed the logo himself in a beautiful shade of green that is now my favorite color. Last week, when I was introducing myself to the owners of a vineyard, I started explaining my qualifications and the roles I’ve worked in, before going a bit further back in time when I realized how formative this childhood experience was! What about you, what impact has your family history had on your career?
I’ve felt a bit frustrated this week because, as always, time went by far too quickly and my to do list was far too long (I’ve been working on this for years: shout out to my coaches – there’s still lots to work on). But I’ve also felt frustrated because I’ve spent a lot of time talking to potential clients and creating quotes for exciting projects which I hope I can share with you soon. But I know that it’s necessary. I know that I’ve been recommended so much precisely because I’ve sown these seeds in the past, because I’ve taken the time to meet potential partners and clients, many of whom are now good friends of mine. If you only knew how many business breakfast meetings I’ve been to at 7am, despite the fact that I’m a night owl (shout out to my early-rising colleagues) or all the evening work events I’ve attended, despite not knowing anyone there. (On the other hand, I know that I need to improve and check in more often because that’s equally important once the project has come to an end!). Of course, you have to delegate the tasks which have the least added value as soon as you can (so I have an administrative assistant, an accountant and a translator, for example), but you have to remain aware that you also have to embody your company’s DNA as a person and through the working relationships you develop. Because you are the best ambassador of your brand image and you need to take the time and effort to focus on all the little tasks and the little details which are so important. So, see you next week to reap what we’ve sown? 🌼
It’s key for any business that wants to survive – particularly at the moment. Never rest on your laurels: monitor the development of societal and consumer trends (and the expectations of your clients) so that you can adapt to them. Constantly adapt your business model, your offering and your communication while maintaining a sense of continuity and originality. Follow trends, particularly when it comes to graphic design, without losing your identity. Be inspired by trends while remaining timeless. Keep your balance as you navigate the perpetual movement of life (both professionally and personally). What about you, have you adapted since the beginning of the Covid pandemic? Have you found the right balance?
ODE TO CURIOSITY
No matter what area you work in, I believe that it’s vital to question, learn and re-assess things constantly, particularly when it comes to communication! This encourages creativity, enabling us to think outside the box and explore new ideas. More than that, you have to know how to ask the right questions and how to make sense of the information you find. When I start working for a new client, most of the time I don’t know their industry. And even when I do, their industry is constantly changing. Preconceived ideas should be left at the door. There’s no shame in asking questions that seem self-evident; there’s no shame in asking “why” when these questions are answered. It’s important to analyze the market in a simple, sincere way by putting yourself in your target clients’ place, by studying how major societal trends have an impact on their expectations and on what drives them. I take the time to observe, explore, investigate, detect and understand the emerging issues that will become tomorrow’s trends.
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