We have two bustling marketing agencies in King of Prussia, PA and Tampa, FL; both chockful of creative professionals. Our skillsets fit together like a mosaic – each contribution unique, but the overall foundation is a solidly beautiful one. We are a team. That’s why I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight one of our designers because her work is at the heart of SO many things we create.
I asked Associate Creative Director Kim Patterson:
“Besides the fast pace and all the fancy design software, what is one of your days really like?”
Well…they are fast-paced and I get to use fancy design software. Other than that, my days are never the same. Because I primarily support the company’s marketing for our franchise brands, there’s that exciting challenge of maintaining brand consistency in every nuance of every item created.
Additionally, while you might not think it would be a designer’s function, one of my daily objectives is to ensure our franchise brands are maintaining brand consistency throughout the system. Oftentimes, I have to put on my “branding police cap” and monitor how franchisees are portraying the brand. This benefits the company image overall and best serves the individual’s franchise.
You have to understand that unless they are corporate-owned, franchises are bought by different people. They don’t get to question or stray from, design concepts – that’s the franchisor’s privilege. The franchisee has to honor those decisions. Not as easy a task as you’d think! People have their own ideas, which is fine, but they are essentially buying a turn-key business solution and the branding is rolled right in there. Not up for negotiation.
“What’s an assumption that’s untrue, and what’s the best thing about designing for franchises?”
In franchise design, it’s not true you are cranking out an assembly line of pieces. You still need to be creative while adhering to the style guide.
A prime example is Scout & Molly’s. A retail boutique devoted to trends in clothing, jewelry, and accessories; there are now stores across the country. There’s not only the branding and design that outfits the franchisor, the franchisee, and targeted to selling franchises; close consideration must be given to where the franchise is located and the demographics of its neighborhood.
One boutique could be in a southern metropolitan area where young professionals reside, and another in a more rural setting where there are four distinct seasons that call for “clothing extremes”. So the key here is to be cognizant of who will see the ads, as well as where and when they will run. That adjustment alone can make a client this size a full-time job!
On a personal note, franchise design is rewarding. After you put so much time into developing the brand based on the client’s vision, you of course get to see it come to life. That’s good. But then you get to see the brand establish momentum and watch its growth.
The next phase is when the ads and branding start popping up organically. I know I designed them, I know the client approved them, and I know they were submitted for publication. But when your work is out there – expanding nationally by the day, it is a positive reinforcement of everyone’s labors. It’s a great thing.
You know what is even just a tiny bit better? Besides seeing my designs around my adopted town in Florida, it’s seeing them when I go home to Colorado to visit. That’s when it feels real. Especially when your mom tells you she’s proud. And then tells everyone she knows that her “daughter designed that”!
“Thanks Kim. We’re proud of ya too!”