Let’s kick it off with some swagger this time :) Our lash-brand AirLashes is really popular. Sorry, for being so blunt and direct. The only reason I take such liberty is the following: this is not a lie. It’s the truth! It seems that we hit the nail on the head with that one and in the following story I’ll explain you how exactly we did this. I’ll show you with which logical approach you can find your idea-nail that slammed with a massive creativity-hammer makes it possible for a simple girl to achieve extraordinary results. ‘Idea-nail’ and ‘creativity-hammer’ - pretty colorful images, aren’t they? Well, don’t pardon me, I’m just getting started ;)
Ok. I was at Starbucks as it so often happens. With the gals from ProBrows we’d made an informed decision to penetrate deep into the wonderful universe of lashes, a couple of days ago. Logical. Nothing wrong with that. However we needed a brand name. What will our lash-brand be called? What’s the perfect name for that? I started figuring that out by myself. However, everything that was running through my mind then seemed so freaking lame. Or a cliche. Or taken. Or just lame (uh, guess I said that already). I’m sure you feel me. Ok, coffee helps. Ordered. Drank. Ordered. Started intensive brainstorming…
To be able to ever reach Omega, one has to get started with Alpha, as they say and that’s exactly what I did. I searched my brain and opened a file by the name of ‘Characteristics_that_a_great_lash-brand_has_to_have.txt’ (Created last night at 3:05). Open. Read. I recalled to have figured out 7 pretty exact characteristics that I wanted a lash-brand to have and here’s an insight into my mind - don’t get me wrong, I don’t honestly wanna brag, I do not believe to be better or more creative than you are - I’m telling you these things because I genuinely believe that we’ve got a lot in common and that you’d be able to get it done even better, one day.
So what are the 7 characteristics I mentioned… or more exactly: what should a perfect lash-brand be like?
1. Pretty. Your brand has to be just pretty. Sounds feminine? I bet it does. Many men have had somewhat confused looks on their faces when I mention that. However, I’m sure you get it. It has to look pretty on the outside, sound pretty when articulated and feel kinda pretty when spotted somewhere.
2. Simple. Simple is always better. Many gals fall in love with their strangely complicated brand names just because they have created those. Forget it. If you want the name to start its own life, make it simple. Really simple.
3. Catchy. What makes a brand-name catchy? Well, first of all its length. I would not suggest combining more that 2 words together because after that the ability for ordinary folks to even memorize it drops dramatically.
4. Meaningful. In relation to what I’ve mentioned already, but not only, the name also has to be meaningful. All the prefixes and suffixes that may sound good to you do not usually do a favour to your brand. In addition to that, in the ideal world the meaningfulness of the brand should also enhance its positive qualities.
5. Current. We’ve learnt to avoid anything that is not current when it comes to our brands. The band has to be contemporary and modern. Hit the zeitgeist as they say. Thus we fear anything washed-up and out-of-date as today’s youth fears boredom.
6. Available. Yep, sounds harsh but one has to check quite a many online databases before choosing a brand name to develop. It also has to be pointed out that it’s pretty insane to start developing a brand name without having a .com address for the future website.
7. International. All our brands are international. You should never just think about your local market. Think globally and then, amongst all the other markets, also hit the ones that are closest to you.
Uh, what’s the point of listing those 7 things. Simple. Creativity - boosted with some caffeine or not - is a wild horse that has to be tamed to some extent and pointed to run in the right direction. And that, my dear amigas, can only be done with absolutely rational framework that channels the creativity into the right direction giving its run the trajectory that produces focused results.
Now, how did I get to AirLashes, exactly…
Well, that is actually a story of applying the very rational approach I was talking about to my wild creativity. Firstly, there are some words in each category that define a successful brand. When it comes to lash-business, the word an excellent brand-name must have is ‘lashes’. Now, it would be kinda nice to stay that I just wrote all sorts of words that could be combined with ‘lashes’ on a nice sheet of white paper and then picked and chose ‘air’ out of those. No, it didn’t happen like that. Or, to be even more precise, it happened like that partly… I’ll explain.
The thing is that from a very young age on I’ve had pretty visual thinking (It’s strange of course to speak about my youth whilst being still just 24 but I know that there are many young-ones in the brow- and lash-biz). Thus I just started seeing all the cool words that would match with ‘lashes’ in my head and those run really fast like some sort of a app-menu we all scroll so often. I tried to combine all the short ones with 'lashes'… However, soon I realized I need to have some more precision… I realized I need to create some filters and I did.
As all the people that have ever dealt with startups I knew that when it comes to lash-business we also have to be able to solve an important problem. Thus, I was thinking what is the most important problem with contemporary lash-extension solutions. The answer to that was really obvious: weight. Namely, everybody hates heavy extensions. Therefore I started concentrating on the opposite of heavy. Quite quickly, of course, I stumbled upon the word ‘light’. However, the problem with that one was the multitude of meanings (light as a verb, as sunlight, as the opposite to ‘difficult’ etc). In addition to that, all other words that were antonyms to ‘heavy’ felt kinda uncool when combined with ‘lashes’. I realized I need to kick my creativity up a notch and I did. With the help of Mr Starbucks, of course.
After yet another frappuccino I started asking myself the right kind of questions: what is really lightweight? What is actually weightless? And then - believe it or not (however, you have to believe it because I’m telling you the truth) - Google helped me. I started typing ‘Light as…” into the search field and it auto-completed that with ‘air’. A coincidence? Maybe. But the kind that just enough of creativity creates. And Google. And a laptop :)
Then I checked if 'AirLashes' ticks all the boxes…
1. Pretty. Already, just after giving birth to the name AirLashes I imagined how exactly the logo would look like (basically, I was picturing it to be exactly as it is now). Pretty? I’d say ‘check’. Even cute in a way.
2. Simple. I realized how simple this brand name was when I told about it to my friends. And that, by the way, is something you should always go for when testing your brand-idea. Talk about it to your friends as if the brand already existed and see how they react to that. Thus I went like: “Have you checked out the new product line of AirLashes?” Positive reactions only. Everybody got immediately that I was talking about a lash-brand.
3. Catchy. Of course, the name AirLashes was tattooed into the depths of my mind, but what about everybody else? When it comes to generating brand names one should always be ready to kill her own babies when others are unable to recall those correctly after some time. Be brutally honest and just ask the folks you spoke about the brand name after some time. If they get it right, you’re on the right path.
4. Meaningful. When it comes to ‘AirLashes’ that wasn’t even an issue. However, when developing a brand name I suggest you to put on your best Barbie-girl face and ask them with all honesty: ‘What does that name resonate with in your head?’ . The answers you get are telling. All the feedback I got for AirLashes made me truly happy: light, light as air, fluffy, breeze, air, clouds, sky etc.
5. Current. Of course, one may think what’s so modern and current about ‘air’. However, when you realize that absolutely everything in the lash-world is moving into the direction of making lashes lighter, having ‘air’ in the brand name doesn’t sound silly at all. At least according to all the lash-pros I've asked about it.
6. Available. Gettin all the domain names for your brand is obviously a humongous hassle. A puzzle that had to be solved lawyering up and using the help of ProBrows IT department pros. Together we managed to get it all and AirLashes was also born into the wonderful world of interwebs.
7. International. Of course it is. And pretty much so! AirLashes gets the right response no matter if used in New York, London, Paris or Moscow.
The moral of the story: I’m no chica fantastico, I’m just being brutally honest and gutsy…
No matter how much experience you’ve had, what are your credentials so far or what’s you age, I believe a gal has to be brutally honest, creative and daring. You’ve got to have the guts to do things, you know. I believe that there are two kinds of people in the world: those that dare to be creative, to explore, to get it on and also get things done (unfortunately a tiny percentage of all people), and those that just wait for the things to happen to them. With all honesty I can assure you I belong to the first group and of all things that has helped me the most in my life.
I do not want to be dependent on anyone or anything and I believe that to be the reason I am where I am in my life. I cherish my my own creativity and I’m real and gutsy - whatever I’ve accomplished in my life, I’ve achieved myself. It may well be less than someone else has, but at least it’s truly mine. I admit that I do not dig anyone who’s fake and just concentrates on hyping herself as much as possible. However, I let that slide, 'cause I know that the hardest punishment for being fake is living with the constant pressure of not being able to answer the question: “Who am I really, if I’m not the one I thought I was?”.
I wish you have lots of guts to go for what you truly love and if you would want me to say in completion just in one sentence what’s the recipe for creating an excellent brand, I’d say that you have to have the following ingredients: a large dosage of guts, lots of creativity that’s unleashed only if you’re being true to yourself, true love for the business you’re in, a lot of mental creatine for your hustler-muscle (whatta creative expression I just coined :) ) and of course… some excellent Starbucks coffee :) Mix those and see where it takes you. Pretty far, I figure.
I truly wish that this post motivates all ProBrows readers to develop even more great brands and be in an even more creative, powerful and energetic state of mind than I was when I created AirLashes.
Take care and maybe we’ll meet some day, most probs in a salon or why not in a Starbucks in the city of cities or maybe even in Scandinavia :)