For the last four months I’ve had the chance to work with Natalie Diome to help her establish branding and a direction for her company, Djoko. My participant’s brand is a health snack company which she hopes to use as a way to create a connection between the farmers of Senegal, where she is from, and the consumers of Montreal. Senegal has a culture of growing local ingredients and adapting them to different recipes, these ingredients such as the baobab fruit and hibiscus leaf juice, are the things she hopes to popularise locally in Quebec.
The first part of this project was dedicated to finding some direction for the brand, establishing values and taking steps to find a meaningful name. Luckily, my participant had already done some mind mapping before coming to class, so we were able to develop ideas based on her previous work. Finding what kind of brand she wanted to create was very straight forward and apart from a bit of guidance, Natalie had very good ideas about her brand. Despite not having a name to start this project, we explored different visual avenues to identify what would really represent the brand. Once a name was decide upon for the brand, Djoko, the branding work truly started. Djoko is wolof word meaning community or helping, both things that she hopes to do with the brand.
Once a logo, typeface and colour scheme were created, we moved on to the next few basic things were needed to establish Djoko as a brand. This meant buying a domain name, creating a professional email, designing business cards and getting social media presence. We did not venture too far in the branding of Djoko such as a web page or other deliverables because Natalie did not want to rush things with her brand, focusing primarily on developing the product over the brand for the moment. Regardless, I took some steps that would assure her company could grow in the future, like purchasing the domain name and making an email for the brand.
Overall, I’m very satisfied with the general flow of this semester compared to the first semester. I think working on the weekly workshops helped the participants take even more away from the class, but it also helped everyone get comfortable learning and exchanging together. I think that this semester, learning was a big takeaway as I found that I was learning as much form the participants than they were learning from the students.