You know that warm, fuzzy, exciting feeling when you talk with a client the first time and you just know that the project is going to be a genuine, creative, and exciting experience? Well, that was the feeling I got when I first spoke with Sarah Pritzker of Karmic Kitchens. Not only was her personality warm and inviting, but she was ecstatic to start the journey to launch the website for her very own snack product, Lotus Pops.
When you meet Sarah, you can immediately see she is a passionate entrepreneur. She has poured her heart into perfecting her product (which is delicious, by the way) and building her business. So we weren't surprised when she came to the table with all the main criteria to get a website project spun up quickly: branding, vision, mission, and a clear vision of her target customer. On our first call, Sarah started intimately describing her customer: who she was, what she liked, how she thought about the world...her customer even had a name (more on this in a bit). Immediately we could picture this customer.
Personifying your customer the way Sarah did is crucial for understanding your key audience. This is something we think about with each project. You have to speak to your customer from the minute they land on your website. Otherwise, they will leave or feel frustrated with the experience.
Here's how the importance of branding came to life in the Karmic Kitchen website.
1.) Brand Identity
Although we do brand identity at Night Sky, some of our clients, like Sarah, come to us with an established brand. Right away, I could get a sense of Sarah's taste, style and how fun this project would be just by looking at her brand. Her font choices were adorable and her color palette was vibrant. And it came together beautifully in a logo that was fresh and fun. I couldn’t wait to get started on this website.
2.) Brand Voice and Tone
The Karmic Kitchen's brand is sharp and funny with a classic voice. It is grounded in earth and people. It’s sort of hippie/fresh hipster. It’s about transparency and honesty, with a little sense of humor. It's a brilliant brand and a delicious snack - try for yourself!
3.) Target Customer/Persona
Sarah knew exactly who her target customer was. She began to tell us a story about a girl named Jessie who works in publishing, is health conscious and well informed but loves a treat once in a while. She is concerned where her food comes from and loves the story behind her food. Jessie loves to be outside, to drink wine and watches Netflix. Jessie's boyfriend is Dan, he's curious about the world and likes to try new things -- and he is into Jessie's new food tasting experiments. She had developed a PERSONA. This was amazing! This helps me curate imagery, select colors, organize information. A persona is invaluable when creating an excellent customer experience.
In the kick-off conversation Sarah clearly articulated that she wants the website to feel like a "sunny, morning-lit room with a lot of space and warmth to it." The ability to convey your vision is extremely valuable information to a designer. Describing how you want your customer to feel will help a designer and UX professional bring that feeling to your brand's website or product. When you're a visual person like I am, having all these descriptors and a clear point a view from a client, makes my life a million times easier. And it makes the client's website or product come to life.
The material on your website - sometimes referred to as " web content" - doesn't just mean words on the page. Web content is writing, for sure, but also images, graphics, and video. Sarah hired photographer Gwen Cox who took beautiful photos to be used on her site and other marketing materials. Close up product shots and lifestyle shots, like the photos of Sarah in the kitchen making Lotus Pops, are a medium - like words - that emit the voice and tone of the brand. Having all of those beautiful assets at my fingertips before I started laying out the site was inspirational and made the design process go that much smoother.
6.) Mission Statement
The importance of a mission statement is critical for any brand. The exercise to of writing a mission statement is hard - trust us, we know. Trying to distill down all the things you want to accomplish into once succinct statement can be overwhelming and challenging. But, forcing yourself to do it makes it easier for your users and customers to understand who you are and what you stand for.
Armed with all that highly valuable, descriptive information about her brand and the stunning photography, we created the digital version of Sarah's Karmic Kitchens. Here are Night Sky, Kristen and I couldn't be more grateful to have worked with such an engaged, communicative and inspiring client. We wish nothing but the best for Sarah and Karmic Kitchens. You must try her Lotus Pops, they are delicious and addictive and they would be the perfect snack to bring to your holiday get-together. Enjoy!