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Yo Santosa took a big leap when she decided to quit her job as a motion graphics artist. But her fledgling design agency, Ferroconcrete, has gone on to create award-winning branding campaigns for companies like Pinkberry, TNT, and TBS. As Yo explains it, there are parallels. Branding, like film, is about storytelling. But instead of telling a story over a few minutes or hours, a brand's story is told over a period of months, years, or even decades.
In this Creative Spark, Yo explains how her team maps the personality of a brand, creates messaging and imagery that support it, and helps clients earn the love and loyalty of their customers. See how this played out for Pinkberry, which under Ferroconcrete's guidance evolved from a single storefront to a nationally recognized name. Yo's team also introduces its fragrance line, Commodity, a project they started to gain firsthand experience building a product alongside the brand. Plus, get a glimpse of the uniquely collaborative design team hard at work in their downtown LA offices.
Speaker 1: At we create brands every day, and at some point, we look at every brand that we create and it goes off with our client obviously, we just touched it and then bye bye. And so, at some point, I'm like, Let's create our own brand. I've always loved brands and one of the things I've always wanted to see is, from both sides of the story, like people think that branding comes after the product is done and that's how you go to the market. But I think with, with how Steve Jobs changed the industry, that design is such an integral part of a brand.
That you start at almost parallel. I think, very modern way of thinking and very good businesses start things this way and this is the new way of doing business. And so I've always encouraged the team and let them know, if you have great ideas and you want to start your own company. Lets do it. Lets think about it. Lets pitch it. And then so one day, Owen G who is one of our directors very, very talented designer. He came to me talking about a fragrance company, that sells fragrance only online. So commodity is a tailoring system. It asks you about your personalities, your hobbies.
And based on those answers, we're going to recommend a few scents customized just for you. Speaker 2: We really like the idea of fragrances, just because we thought, it was underrated. You know, we thought that fragrances should be an accessory, just like our clothes, our shoes. And, people don't really think of it that way. Speaker 3: Right now, if you go to a typical like Sephora or Macy's or something, this is what you see. So we really mapped out all of the different stores where you could buy a cologne or fragrance. What we found out is that people are really intimidated by all this choice and, because there's not a lot of difference within all the different brands.
It's a lot of sweaty male models, we found it was just kind of really glossy marketing cliches. And we wanted to create something a little bit different, a little bit more honest and a little bit more modern. We had to really search for a good partnership, a good fragrance house to work with. We found a really awesome one they, they originated from France, they're like really old, like 160 years old. And their actually the same fragrance house that all the big brands use. We really wanted to create a line of scents that felt honest.
A lot of the names for traditional perfumes and colognes are, are really over the top. And it's things like guilty or, or eternity and we wanted to create something people could relate to. Like items they, they know and the whole idea of being a commodity like cloth, wool. The problem is how do you smell something online? It's still the core problem. So, we kind of created this like, four point of views that we wanted to hit, with this brand. one, of course, is convenience. We wanted to create a system that really is easy for you to go on.
Take two minutes. We recommend scents based on your own style and within our 20 fragrances, we pick five out to you so you can use at home. So how the service works is that you go on the web site, you answer some of these maybe Mad-Lib style questions, and we kind of create this style scent profile, and then we pick five scents that are based on your style. When we get the scent profile, we actually send people this tailoring kit. And basically what it is, is this cool little packet of five little samples.
And each one lasts about maybe like, three times use. You can try each one throughout the week, and then find out which one really fits your style. And the cool thing is this little packet is perforated so you can kind of rip it apart. Keep one at the office. Keep one in your bag or something. You find out what you like, or what you don't like, and we have two simple choices. Either the roller which is, these little guys. And you get to pick three. So, the cool thing is, usually, you, you buy one fragrance and you wear that forever. instead, you can pick three scents for different occasions.
Morning, night special occasion. And it come with this cool, little leather case that we designed. For the bottles, for example, the 100 milliliter bottle which is a big bottle. We have really looked at a bunch of different shapes. I mean, we started off thinking about this brand as this kind of modern vintage thing. We looked at you know, pharmaceutical bottles and like the Hendricks Gin bottle which we love. So after a lot of exploration, we found a really good shape and a size that feels good when you press it and kind of hold in your hand.
Speaker 2: So we decided to launch on Kickstarter. Crowd funding these days is a big thing. It's a way that a lot of these small business can start. Without a lot of capital, and gather crowd who's interested first, and have them donate or pledge monetarily, so we can get a sense of how many people are interested in our project, before we launch, the actual site. Speaker 3: And so for this, we're actually sending out a Kickstarter kit with, all ten scents, for either men or women.
And then they can decide which ones they want from there. We really wanted to design it in a way, that you normally wouldn't see for, a cologne or a perfume. We wanted to show it so that the person in the photo really could be you, could be anybody. The packaging is really simple of course and so we wanted the photographs and all the layout to be just as minimal, and more about you than us. We created icons, so its a little friendlier to tell that story. And then of course the whole idea about skipping the middle man and going directly to the customer was really important to us.
Even though we have to support our set tailoring program, we can still bring it down a, a lot less than you would get at a traditional retail store. We've always really loved working with brands for clients because we're excited for them, and the success they get. But it's really, really exciting to have people email you directly, and, and tell you, wow I really love your brand, I really love your product, and I'm really excited to try it out. And so I think it's been really exciting for us through this experience to, to launch our own brand.
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