Brand Development & Design
Smart branding exudes quality, evokes trust, and acts as a magnet for potential customers and clients.
Your brand is the true heart of your business, and the promises you make when you put your story out into the world.
And, it's not only that: your brand is also the sum of all the experiences that people have with you, whether through your website, advertising, word of mouth or personal encounter. It’s what they think of you, what they know about you, and how they feel when your work intersects with their lives or when they buy a product or service from you (or, when they don’t). Most importantly — and this is what separates great brands from mere advertising — a truly effective brand changes how people feel about themselves.
Brand development (or, branding) is how you shape the perception of your audience. It’s about sending your unique identity and story out into the world — by crafting the representation of you as a business, both visually and verbally, that people will connect with and respond to (think name, logo, website, visual elements, and messaging). In short:
BRANDING = Who you say you are.
BRAND = Who people think you are.
My brand development services are for people who:
- are ready to invest in their brand to make it shine and stand out in the crowd
- are passionate about their business, and need help translating that passion to their branding & marketing
- desire an in-depth, integrated approach to clarify and powerfully align their brand identity with their vision and values
- believe in the impact of telling great stories
(If you’re in a rush or have a very tight budget, then brand development packages are not the best choice for you. For personalized consulting on your brand direction at a minimal cost, I also offer brand strategy sessions via phone or Skype. Contact me here for more info.)
My strength lies in helping you discover and articulate your WHY, understand your story, and translate your passion into branding that is powerful, cohesive, authentic and deeply connective. I’ll help you shine by clarifying and defining exactly what makes you one-of-a-kind, and then crafting a stunning visual identity that captures the heart of your business.
What sets me apart from other designers and agencies is an approach to branding that’s personal, strategic, forward-thinking, and clear.
- Personal: Your business is like no one else’s. I work with you collaboratively to capture and communicate your story, and then give you the tools to carry your brand forward confidently. I’m a mix of both right-brain and left-brain, imaginative and practical, vision and implementation. As your creative partner and communications maven, I am fiercely devoted to your business success!
- Strategic: I take an integrated approach to branding that is focused equally on results-oriented strategy and on beautiful, memorable design. I believe that creativity and strategy go hand-in-hand, and smart brands know it.
- Forward-thinking: Branding is an investment that can pay off in a big way. When you work with me, you won’t just get a great visual identity — you’ll gain a clearer sense of your business DNA and how to effectively connect with your audience.
- Clear: My brand development process is simple, yet flexible enough to roll with the needs of your particular business and brand.
My clients find that greater clarity about their brand identity and direction translates to greater momentum in their business as a whole. What’s more, they’re able to confidently promote their business in any context, whether online or in person, because their brand looks every bit as classy and professional as it is.
"I’d absolutely recommend Erin to businesses who are still trying to figure out who they are and define who they want to become. If you want more than just a logo — if you’re looking to better understand your market and take your brand in a new direction — then look no further."
- Janette Klaehn, Founder, Noli Fit -
Brand Development Packages:
I offer signature branding packages that serve two key stages of a brand’s growth:
LAUNCH and ELEVATE.
- If you’re just getting started in your business, the Launch Package is exactly what you need.
- If you’ve been around for a while and are ready to take your brand to the next level, the Elevate Package is designed just for you.
This package is specifically for businesses just starting out: you’re getting off the ground (or preparing to!), and need a face for your business that matches your passion and captures the essence of what you do. I’ll help you get clear on your business personality and positioning, and design a custom logo and visual identity to reflect it. I’ll also advise you on your website options, including how to set yourself up online with a minimum of time and cost (after all, you’re just starting out and most likely don’t need all the bells and whistles!).
Timeframe: 6-8 weeks
Cost: starting at $2400
Interested? Fill out the Client Questionnaire and we’ll talk details!
This package is designed for existing businesses: you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, with style and professionalism that reflect the excellence of what you offer. We’ll take a close look at your current business, hone in on your best features, and create a brand strategy that matches your ambition and goals. Then we’ll put it into action with a smart, classy new (or updated) logo and visual identity, and create a website game plan to accelerate your online presence for big brand impact.
Timeframe: 6-8 weeks
Cost: starting at $2200
Interested? Fill out the Client Questionnaire and we’ll talk details!
Ready to take some brand action?
Woohoo! Here’s how it works:
1 // You fill out the Client Questionnaire to tell me a few things about yourself and your business.
2 // I’ll get back to you soon with a suggested day & time for a Skype meeting, so we can discuss your needs, your goals and your brand direction.
3 // We’ll talk through where your business is at, where you’re headed, and any questions you have about working together. If we both agree to move forward, I’ll send you a project proposal and invoice for your initial payment, along with a contract and overview of policies.
4 // Once I receive your signed contract and deposit, your project is officially on the books! I’ll send you the Brand Blueprint Workbook (my dig-deep guide to help you define and clarify your brand identity and audience) and Website Questionnaire (so we can find the best web solution for your brand and stage of business) to complete.
5 // Over the next several weeks, we’ll work together to discover and develop your brand essence, create a custom logo and visual identity that captures your values and style, and chart a course for your brand as a whole.
A word on websites...
You'll notice that website design & development is not included in the Launch or Elevate packages. Here’s why:
Your web presence is a critical part of your brand. In order to make you look your very best online, the Brand Development packages includes a custom website consultation to help you find and integrate the smartest, most cost-effective website solution for your brand and your stage of business (hint: it might not be what you think). Whether you’re building your own site or you need a custom Wordpress design, I'll make you aware of the options and help you find a web solution that fits your business (and budget!) perfectly.
The Website Consultation (included in both the Launch and Elevate Packages):
Not all website options are created equal. We’ll first look closely at your goals and your vision, and then create a website strategy to match it.
- Just starting out? If yes, you probably can’t afford to spend thousands on a custom site (and the good news is, you don’t have to!). I’ll give you insider advice on how to get up and running online and look great, with a minimum of time and cost.
- Already have a site, but it needs some help? I offer website reviews, with easy-to-implement recommendations for ways to improve your current site without overhauling the entire thing.
- Ready to let your business TRULY shine with a dazzling, fully custom site? Once we’ve established your brand foundation and visual identity, I can connect you with the web designers and developers that I trust and recommend, who can make the process easy and painless for you — with results beyond your wildest web dreams. (I am also available for art direction and web design on select full-scale branding projects.)
I’m not in Minneapolis. Can I still work with you?
Yes! Most of my clients aren’t local, and many aren’t even in North America. Thanks to Skype, we’ll have the benefits of face-to-face connection and collaboration, even while spanning multiple time zones. (Though if you’re in the U.S. and prefer phone to Skype, that works too!)
Check out these words from client Garrett Jones of Extravagant Yak, a travel company based in China:
“Since we were separated by about 14,000 miles, I wondered if the time difference or the distance would work against us really putting our heads together to achieve a design that we were all happy with. Boy, was I wrong! Skype, email and Erin's knack for seeing what we wanted (even more clearly than we did) made the process smooth and effective.”
I just want a logo. Can I skip the rest of the brand development?
If you’re looking for an instant logo or a single-page website, there are lots of ways to find either of them cheaply online. If you want to develop a brand that’s more than just a logo — a brand worth talking about — then my brand development process will help you get there.
Can you design my website?
I’ve begun to limit the number of website projects I take on, in order to focus on what I do best: foundational brand development and identity design. If you work with me via a brand development package, you’ll have my personal advice and resources at hand to find the best website option for your business (there are lots of possibilities!), and get it up and running smoothly. Should your project require full-scale website design, I'll connect you with my trusted network of savvy and extremely talented web designers & developers to make your site gorgeous and one-of-a-kind.
How do you say your last name?
I come from sturdy German stock, with a surname to match. My last name, Rufledt, is pronounced “ROOF-LET” — like “booklet,” with a few letters swapped out. (Thanks to 30 years of people getting it wrong, if you ever need to say my last name out loud, I will high-five you if your pronunciation even comes close.)
Are your rates negotiable?
My rates for Brand Development Packages are competitive and firm. Thoughtful brand development takes time and lots of creative energy, and establishes a strong foundation that you can build on for years to come. It’s long-term investment in your business — with an excellent payoff.
If you have design needs of a different sort, shoot me a message with the details of your project and budget, and I can give you a custom quote.
Do you offer other design services?
I offer other design services to established clients, and also take on new creative projects depending on schedule and season. If you have a project in mind, let’s talk!