Crafting Unforgettable Brands with SixLAVA: A Look at the Branding Process

In the barrage of branding that is all around us, there is a lot of it that misses its mark. Whether it is the image, the color, the font, or the messaging, you have to wonder what some businesses were thinking. The truth is they probably weren’t. More precisely, they were so focused on other aspects of their business that the branding seemed secondary. What they needed was the guidance of seasoned brand experts. And what they need now are skilled practitioners who know the science behind color, design, and images that will tell their unique story while making the brand stand out domestically and globally in a noisy crowd.

Those seasoned experts are the team at the branding agency SixLAVA. Founder Sam Brand has over 20 years of experience in business development and strategy in the B2B space. His partner, Mark Ellsworth, is a branding expert with a wealth of knowledge gleaned from 15-plus years in film, branding, and design, along with three degrees.

Together, they work with various clients, from Fortune 1000 companies to small businesses in multiple industries, including defense, technology, medical, and financial services. They are dedicated to helping businesses become better versions of themselves. Sam explains, “Mainly, we want to help them match their identity with what they are, who they represent, and the services or products they offer to ensure that they are all in sync.”

Traditional Branding

Sam explains that many businesses start with an idea and hire a friend or acquaintance to create the logo. Frequently, the logo doesn’t fit the brand, and often the brand isn’t fully developed. Worse yet, the business owners often think the logo is the brand. 

Sam adds, “I think there’s many misconceptions about logos being a brand. Logos can demonstrate and showcase what you are and who you are. Take Apple; you immediately think of their logo, right? But that’s just their logo. When you think of Apple, when you receive an Apple product or buy an Apple phone or TV, you get the packaging from Apple, and you know instantly who made the product. It has a look and a feel; it has its own unique, special, incredible appearance, right? That’s the essence of the brand, not the logo.” 

Most businesses would benefit from a rebranding, even SixLAVA. After developing their rebranding strategy, Sam and his team put their own business to the test. “It was a good brand, but then we needed to take ourselves through our own process. We created a new brand because we just wanted to be the best version of ourselves.” Part of that rebranding was the name. “Six” came from Sam’s six children. The lava part was a little more complex. “I value having things be organic. Things change all the time. Businesses and industries are always facing new challenges every day, and that resonates with me as a business owner,, which is why we went with lava. It changes, morphs into other things.”

The rebranding journey

Sam explains that there are three typical reasons that businesses rebrand. Some want and need to modernize their look, while others seek to create a consistent visual identity throughout the business. Often, companies rebrand as a strategic move to differentiate from competitors to gain an edge.

The comprehensive strategic process that SixLAVA takes business owners through does all of that and more. 

Phase 1: Kickoff Meeting – This meeting is an exploration of the heart and vision of the company. During that meeting they always ask business owners, “Why do they keep coming back? Why do they keep waking up in the morning and doing the business? What’s motivating them to keep doing it?” That in-depth discussion lays the foundation for the rebranding journey.

Phase 2: Research and Development –  Sam explains, “This research phase often leads to personalized elements in the branding that may not be immediately obvious but resonate with the company’s heritage and identity.” In this phase, SixLAVA seeks to uncover some subtleties about each company that can set them apart. 

Phase 3: Present Research & Findings – In this phase, the team shares their unique discoveries that can make their visual identity special and dynamic to them.

Phase 4: Create & Present Initial Branding Ideas – The SixLava team goes into logo creation mode. Clients are presented with several visuals. It involves exploring colors, shapes, fonts, and imagery that align with the brand’s essence. After a great deal of collaboration, the client chooses from the logos. 

Phase 5: Deliver New Branding Package – It is fine-tuned in the final stages to ensure the new branding aligns with all potential applications, from clothing to business cards. The aim is to create a brand that seamlessly integrates into various marketing pieces and resonates with the public.

SixLAVA ensures clients are emotionally attached to the final product by involving them throughout the rebranding journey. Clients Marilyn Balls and Amanda Bunnell, Co-owners of Mynell Counting House, certainly are smitten. “SixLAVA’s transformative work with our brand exceeded all expectations. As a woman-owned business, we finally feel empowered to compete at a national level. Thanks to SixLAVA’s remarkable branding, design expertise, and strategic corporate narrative, our future is brighter than ever. We wholeheartedly recommend SixLAVA to any business seeking to achieve transformative success.” 

Branding is pivotal to a company’s success. But bad branding can be worse for a business than no branding at all. SixLAVA’s approach helps businesses create a narrative that gets to the core of who a business is and what they want to be then turns it into a winning brand.

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