When we started Girl in a Hard Hat last year, we knew we would have to work super hard to develop an identity and develop a communication strategy to ensure that we were a visible and influential voice in the world of home and lifestyle blogging.
Regardless of the size of your business, branding and communication is a key, ongoing aspect of your any organisation’s success. If done correctly, it should make you increasingly responsive to customer needs and more competitive.
It is with this in mind that we’re delighted to be in conversation with Lucie who runs Bonjour Lucie, a Creative Communication and Brand Strategy Studio, providing everything your business needs regarding it’s branding and customer communications. Over to Lucie now to tell us more about her business.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
Hi! I’m Lucie and I run Bonjour Lucie, a Creative Communication and Brand Strategy Studio, we provide everything a business needs regarding its communication. From the very initial brand strategy, through logo and identity, promotional and collateral printed and digital materials (flyers, presentations, documents and reports, goodies etc) to marketing plan, campaigns and social media plan.
We work with a wide range of collaborators, all expert in their field which enable us to extend our services from the very specific requests to global ones.
For Business Owners – What motivated you to start your business?
After several years in my industry (graphic design and creative industry, brand, advertising and general communication) and through a lot of different type of environments (in house for retailers, in agencies, in institutions) I’ve experienced the best and the worse of it, being confronted to 2 majors recurrent problems that I wanted to challenge:
- Facing a work environment that has a lack of culture and leadership, and feeling like an easily replaceable resource to the companies. This lack of culture and leadership ultimately resulting of bad customer service.
- Confronting clients that are feeling let down by creative agencies or freelancers because either the agency will just do whatever the client asks to get the invoice paid regardless to the efficiency or relevance of the work done, or alternatively, agencies who have too many awards (and ego) who simply don’t listen to their clients anymore and just do whatever they want to push out their own style out.
I wanted to make a difference and change the game. My goal was (and still is) to prove the world that it is possible to have a decent design and communication business, with happy customers and happy staff, all with still making profit.
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
There are so many! Catching up with the current trends online, catching up with emails, PR and other collaborators, working on client’s projects, reading business and creative books, networking with other creatives, managing a few communities online…
Our daily task is quite balanced between finding new collaborators and customers and working on our current clients projects.
We also try attend a lot of trade shows in the interior design industry to spot out who might need our help: quite often on those shows we can find some great companies that face difficulties to showcase their brand with the relevant and adapted communication materials. Which is too bad as the interior design industry is one of those that need to be up to date and up standards when it comes to communicating a brand. As we genuinely want help and unlock the success of others, those kind of events are really interesting to go and find companies that have potential to develop stunning and stand-out brands.
What do you feel makes your company unique/how do you stand out from the competition?
Well we have a very personal approach that we apply to any new client coming in. We first analyse the request from the client, then through a workshop we run with our client, we define what is/are the goal(s) of the project, what is/are the main problem(s) or challenge(s) this client faces and how, through design, we can help to overcome them?
From the very initial meeting to completion, we engage personally with our client, We believe that to deliver an exceptional service, we need to be an extension of the business we’re working with. This is why we ask a lot from our clients: we get them involved in the process and make sure to have a conversation all the way through the project, to ensure their voice is heard and that we are all on the same page in order to make it a success.
We believe that being present and communicating as much as we can with our clients gets the best out of each project. We ensure that all the creative advice needed is given, so when delivered, our clients can easily use what has been created for them and they can be proud of it.
More than graphic or marketing suppliers, we want to be a trustworthy partner that can help you in your everyday challenges when it comes to getting your voice heard, understood and to connect with your audience.
Where are you based?
Maida Vale, West London, but I move easily to meet with clients all the time!
How do you trade: face to face only or can readers order from/check out your services on your website or 3rd Party Supplier?
Face to face. As explained above, we distinguish ourselves by having a very close relationship with our clients. Though we don’t mind skype meetings, which is quite handy sometimes when having lack of time to meet everyone!
What have been your Company’s best moments in the last 12 months?
Hearing our customer telling us how we’ve been helpful, how we’ve understood them and made it easy for them. This is more than doing just business, what we do is helping people with their own business and for us, the success of our work is when we get that kind of feedback and we’re proud of it!
What have you got planned for the next 12 months?
Does signing up enough client to pay all the bills count? On a more serious note (although it was sincerely serious!) the plan is to evolve and hopefully being able to get more staff on board!
We also intend to develop a network of creative professionals that we started a few month ago.
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
Chris Do is one of my virtual mentors as I call him, he’s a design agency owner in the US and has been a strong inspiration in terms of how to work with client in order to cut the BS and start to play in a trustworthy business playground. Check out his podcast both on iTunes and Youtube, even if you’re not in the creative industry, business-wide you’ll learn a lot.
Finally, a quote that inspires me everyday to pursue what I do, from the film director Xavier Dolan, who once said in Cannes: ‘I believe everything is possible to those who dream, dare, work and never give up’
All Images Courtesy of Bonjour Lucie