Ramiro Rodriguez was moving back to his home-town, in Texas, after living in Chicago for a number of years. He wanted to start a photography studio, Ma Vie, that focused primarily on seniors, but also did some high-end destination weddings.
We advised him that a brand is much stronger if its more focused. If he wanted to have a destination wedding brand, that’s great–but do it under a different name/website, etc. He agreed. So, we pursued a seniors-only branding focus.
After reviewing his competitors, it was obvious that there was a big opportunity for a brand to focus on only seniors (the other studios did all sorts of photography). We also noticed that most of the competitors were fairly traditional.
Ramiro expressed the desire to do something new and unique–and to have his brand not be based on trends, but on the personalities of his customers. After interviewing him, we built the following Copy Platform (one of the deliverables in the f22 process). The Copy Platform is the “well” we encourage our customers to dip into for any communication piece they’re doing. From websites to voicemail answering messages, using the language below will help the brand stay focused:
Ma Vie Studio
Rule-Breaking Senior Photography
Break free with Ma Vie!
At Ma Vie, we break all the rules of traditional senior photos. No goofy backdrops, boring lighting, or cheesy poses—your photos will be uniquely YOU. We let you be yourself. YOURpersonality, YOUR passions, and YOUR style direct the shoot. You can break free with Ma Vie!
Features Advantages Benefits (FAB)
Feature: Real Environments
Ma Vie doesn’t use fake, painted backdrops for our photos. We go with you into your familiar environments.
Advantage: More freedom
Other studios believe it’s more efficient to light you in a studio and just throw up a colored backdrop. It’s easier for the photographer, but it results in a cookie-cutter photo. Every Ma Vie portrait is a unique creation because it’s driven by where YOU want to be photographed.
Benefit: One-of-a-kind photos
Because you’ll be in a comfortable environment, you will be relaxed. The photos will reflect who you really are. The photos will be unlike any others.
Ma Vie lets YOUR personality determine the style of the shoot. We get to know you, what you like (and don’t like) about photos, what you do in your free time, where you hang out, what music you like. It’s about you!
Because we’re getting to know you and working to make you comfortable, you will have a much easier time being yourself. That’s how we capture amazing photos. We are experts at letting you be YOU, and then pressing the shutter at just the right moment.
Benefit: You have a blast!
You know the difference between your real smile and your “photo smile,” and you’ll have so much fun at Ma Vie you won’t see any “photo smile” photos. Be yourself, have a blast, get great photos.
Feature: Local with Big-city Experience
Ramiro went to the same schools as you, grew up in the same town as you, but he’s been living in Chicago for the last X years.
Advantage: Local understanding, with big-city knowledge
Because he grew up here, Ramiro gets it! He knows the locations, what it’s like to live here, and that gives him awesome insight that only a local would have. But, having lived and worked in Chicago for xx years, he’s learned how to look for light, locations, and angles that a local photographer would miss. Shooting in Chicago has given Ramiro a modern perspective on the local locations.
Benefit: The right shots at the right spot, with a fresh perspective!
Ramiro listens to you, gets a feel for what makes you tick, and can work with you to connect who you are to awesome local locations that no one else even knows about. That alley, that park, that coffee house—you’ll end up with unique photos that are just right for YOU. Then, his big-city experience kicks in and he knows how to work the locations to give you a high-end, magazine, fresh feel to the photographs!
The position of rule-breaking resonated strongly with Ramiro. The Tagline, “Break free with Ma Vie!” illustrated the position while also having a rhyme, which makes it more memorable.
Once we had the position established firmly with the client, we were able to proceed to the logo design. We built two versions of the mark for Ramiro: one with a “spray paint” feel, to underscore the rebellious nature of the position; and one with a more corporate feel, better suited for something like a loan application.
We chose to use modern colors to reflect, again, the freshness of the brand and to appeal to the target market. We built a mark (the MV) that would work as a stand-alone graphic. We designed the mark to be more reminiscent of a skateboard company logo than a photography brand, all to underscore the position of the company.
Lastly, we developed the Logo Standards Sheet, which identifies the components of the logo and gives some basic outline on how to use it: