The Lironda branding project is very dear to us, and in this user case we are going to tell how emotional branding applied to marketing strategies helped it to be immediately successful.
This project was carried out by very dear friends and collaborators of our user experience company. Milena is a PhD in Anthropology and Mario is a physical product designer. A few years ago they had a beautiful girl named Amanda. And the process of being a new parent led them to the classic quest that all parents do: how to raise our children in the best possible way.
Among the different strategies and learnings, they discovered the Montessori system, which led them to design a sensory board “on steroids.” In other words: instead of the classic boards used in the Montessori Method, which are 10 or 15 inches on a side, they created a board that occupied an entire wall, with a great variety of stimuli.
Although it is difficult to define if this board was the greatest influence, or simply Amanda is the daughter of very intelligent and loving parents, the truth is that her pedagogical and psychomotor progress was much faster than that of other children. Basic fine motor and language skills before one year corresponded to children 6 or 8 months older.
This fact was observed by many people and friends of the couple, who are mostly professionals with a high level of education and with children. They began to ask if they could make similar smaller boards for their children, nephews or simply to give to other children or early childhood educational institutions.
After some doubts and resistance, and mainly due to a decrease in their income caused by the Covid-19 quarantine, they decided that the sensory boards could be a good idea to increase income.
When product creation is not the same as branding
Of course, being collaborators of our team and with knowledge of many of the problems that arise when creating a brand, they knew that the brand creation part was the one that was going to complicate them the most. On the other hand, it required an investment of material and time that they weren’t sure they could recoup without a successful branding strategy.
Even so, they decided to undertake the project on their own and without our help (very badly done! :P). And of course, there the problems began. The first of them was naming; that is: how to call a new brand in a way that is memorable and attractive.
When they got to the name and were almost ready to launch, they asked for our advice.
30 minutes later, they found they were at the same point were they started: the brand names they had selected had one or more of the following problems:
- they were registered trademarks
- the domain on the internet was registered
- the name in social networks already existed
- in one of the cases, the brand didn’t just exist: it was the brand for EXACTLY the same product
- they did not follow basic mnemonic rules
The definition of branding disaster.
Emotional branding to the rescue
So they finally decided that it was time to turn to brand specialists to help them discover the best way to carry out a complete, functional and effective brand strategy.
The interesting thing about the case is that they did not ask us to do it, but they wanted to be an integral part of the process. Therefore, they asked us to teach them how to achieve the goal.
After some discussions, we recommend that for the type of product (educational games), the strategy to use was emotional branding. That way we were able to focus on a specific brand strategy instead of a broader strategy that would take much more discussion time. And already having this emotional design strategy as a guide, we could use it as a basis for the rest of the different brand strategies. Starting, as we said, with the naming strategy.
Once we explained the variables to consider, how and why to decide on a specific name and what are the tools to use, it really took them 24 hours to have 3 brand names. Each of them was amazing, but one of them stood out automatically: Lironda.
This word in Spanish is very simple and at the same time somewhat strange to use, with a beautiful sound. But fundamentally, the word Lironda is part of a child song by a famous singer. In short: a very little used word, almost unknown, except for children who know this classic song for children (and their parents, who grew up with the work of that same singer, now deceased).
A trademark identifier with these characteristics is like the Everest of trademarks. Unique but at the same time identifiable by the target audience that shares a social code that identifies them as part of a group. With a beautiful sound, and because of its rarity as a word, it is not registered anywhere!
We have smart friends and collaborators!
Branding process (adn hidden logo meanings)
Once we defined the brand name, it was time to think about the visual identity of the brand.
The design brief they provided us said the following:
“We want fluid circular shapes, like wooden rings, or some relationship to the moon or the sun. Maybe a spiral.
But basically we want a lot of colors, which is a brand with a lot of color since our sensory panels are multicolored “
With this information we play with different ideas, starting from a mood board of different colors and elliptical shapes, concentric circles, deformed figures, spirals, etc.
From the mood board, we created some sketches on paper. Since the different sketches that different team members created were very similar, that indicated to us that there was a stylistic visualization of the brand that moved within certain parameters. So we sent a first sketch of the pictorial brand to get feedback, and it was accepted almost immediately.
Then we had to create the wordmark. Within the same emotional branding strategy, we were convinced that it had to be a playful and cheerful typeface, of the handwritten type.
But at the same time, since the target audience is highly educated parents, we did not want it to be too simple or vulgar, but to have a certain elegance and distinction.
Although all this led us to the path of custom lettering, finally, we decided to use a pre-existing font, which we modified in its forms to create a custom font that matched what we were looking for. In this way, the pictorial brand of the visual identity that was already original and impressive was completed with an original wordmark that also includes a set of meta-messages, very typical of emotional branding.
If you look closely, you will see that the particle “iro” in the word “lironda” forms a nose and two eyes (one of them winking), while the curved segment of the capital letter L forms a mouth. Obviously, the whole makes up a smiling child’s face.
Brand Marketing Strategy based on emotional design
After all the aforementioned process, we have the following elements that make up a brand:
- (a great) product
- a brand name
- a visual identity
- a brand strategy (in this case based on emotional branding)
Therefore, what we are missing now is a process of creating a Brand Marketing Strategy that allows us to position the brand and generate sales.
For that, we created a series of photographs and videos including the best possible model: Amanda, the girl who originated everything.
And instead of making high-production videos with a green screen in the background and all the video technology that we normally use, we chose to follow the same logic of emotional branding: the videos are made in a very simple format (albeit of high quality), in the intimacy of home, with Amanda playing as she always does.
We chose to use a “homemade” approach, with some legibility issues and non-professional transitions for the video. The message is: this is simple people doing simple things with love and empathy, not a soul-less brand
Given that the confinement generated by the Covid-19 pandemic means that hundreds of thousands of children are in the same conditions, it seemed important to us to convey that there are more interesting ways to play, learn and have fun than the screens of a TV, computer or mobile phone. That confinement does not necessarily have to be synonymous with boredom, or cessation of the primary learning process.
Brand and visual identity
These are some of the elements of visual identity, including logo design, explanation of logo and the “happy face” and promotional video
Business strategy in times of Covid-19
Of course, the aforementioned quarantine (which in our country is stricter than in most of the world) hinders the possibilities of commercial development of a new venture. Therefore, we created a primary strategy based on social networks and online sales channels.
But we also create a higher value secondary strategy by the time the Covid-19 quarantine ends. This “guerrilla marketing” strategy is designed to “attack” certain target audiences that no one would normally think of. And the best part is that we have more than 10,000 prospects ready!
In addition, the user research we did on the target audience as well as complementary audiences allowed us to identify a series of specific needs to create new related products.
Brand and positioning strategy summary
The Lironda project is a project we love, not only because of who the clients are, but because it is destined to bring change at the educational and devlopmental level. Although recently landed, the first results are more than auspicious: the existing production was sold out in the first week and there are already orders for the next 4 months (at the time of writing this, coinciding with Christmas 2020).
And that is what fills us with happiness: a job well done that generates positive changes for everyone!