Creating a stand-out brand is more than just the visuals
Having just returned from an epic weekend with my sister celebrating my 40th Birthday, I felt inspired to write this next blog.
What could have possibly inspired me I hear you say.
Well it’s simple. Two words in fact.
Now if you have been before you will already know what an incredibly unique event this is.
A quick overview. Camp Wildfire is effectively a summer camp for adults. In their own words they describe it as
“A wild weekend in a gorgeous forest retreat. Surround yourself with incredible people and get a huge dose of life-affirming inspiration.
Learn and discover incredible new skills. Activities are included in your ticket and pre-booked to help you make the most of every minute.
Dance the night away amongst the trees with our award-winning festival programme, relax in wood-fired hot tubs, or talk around the campfire.”
From the moment I clicked on their website I fell in love with their branding. The imagery just screamed ‘YOU WILL HAVE FUN!’. The colour palette is colourful and friendly, their purpose and message is so clear and the numerous reviews left by previous attendees helped me to instantly feel like I could trust that they were going to deliver on their promise.
When we arrived it was like stepping into a bubble. There was an amazing atmosphere. People were buzzing with energy. Everywhere you looked there were smiling face and people introducing themselves, getting to know one another.
Crowds were gathered around the camp shop buying the latest merchandise for the year.
During the 3 night weekend of Camp Wildfire you get to choose a patrol to be in - Hawks (that was us), Badgers, Squirrels or Foxes. There were games that took part each evening where you could compete to win tokens. The whole time positive competition is encouraged, kindness being one of their biggest values.
It was in one word, INSPIRING.
For 3 nights and 2 days, you could emerge yourself into woodland life, taking part in a choice of 100 activities from crafts, to full on sporting activities and then join in entertainment such as keynote talks, quiz nights, comedians and dance parties.
EVERYTHING was branded so well.
From the little maps and schedule you were handed on arrival. The wrist bands. The uniforms of the camp leaders and staff. At the end of the weekend they gave away a free photograph from the event with a discount code to book for next year plus a pin badge as a keepsake.
Not only that - during our stay they actively promoted people to give feedback to help them improve. You feel heard. Treasured. Important. They make their attendees feel that they are a part of what they are trying to grow.
I had already made up a bit of my mind about what Camp Wildfire would be like before I arrived based on the marketing material I had seen - their website and social media.
Then when I attended the event, they just kept building on my “perceived” enjoyment by adding more and more positive layers. Every single person representing the brand at the event upheld their values. Never once did anything feel misaligned.
Even after the event, the culture they create continues to thrive. Facebook group admins encourage attendees to share their stories. They allow people to post their own pics, share their experiences …and ofcourse they encourage us to book again!!
And why shouldn’t they. They know they have created something that people want. They know that their event is making a difference. It’s creating a new type of festival. One that combines fun activities with having a party!
They tick every box in terms of what I get my clients to identify when starting or scaling their business.
They know who they are.
They know where they want to go.
They know who their ideal customer is.
They are clear on their values and ethos.
They are authentic.
And most importantly. They have built trust.
Trust with the loyal staff that are coming back weekend after weekend to help. Trust with the attendees who are now spreading the word and bringing more people back with them each time.
This really is a fantastic example of what a stand-out brand looks like.
As seen on BBC’s Dragon’s Den
They were on Dragons Den a few years back. They were looking for £75,000 investment for a 5% share in their business. Deborah Meadon offered them all the money for a 25%, after they counter-offered for a 20% stake, Deborah withdrew her offer.
But it clearly didn’t stop the owners Julia Lowe and Lee Denny from continuing their journey, and thank goodness!!! Because the word of mouth praise for this event is fast growing and I am sure it wont be long until more dates or even venues are added!
So to summarise….
Growing a stand-out brand isn’t just about creating a good visual representation of who you are. It goes much deeper.
You need to identify:
What do you want to be know for?
What are you offering?
Who is your ideal audience?
Why should people work with or buy from you?
Take some time to work through these questions and remember; a business that has a clear direction is crucial if you want to succeed.
The 'Brands We Love' - Seal of approval
I am so passionate about great branding that when I come across a brand trhat stops me in my tracks I am going to celebrate them and share my key takeaways.
So Camp Wildfire is my first to receive the Orange Lamb 'Brands We Love' seal of approval.