Branding a fashion startup to inspire confidence in professional women
Olive - Pittsburgh, PA
Olive is an emerging U.S. business professional and casual-wear brand for today’s driven female. Olive provides tailored, timeless pieces women can feel confident wearing through every milestone of their careers.
After being crowned the Miss Pennsylvania USA title in 2018, Olivia Suchko felt a sense of confidence that she knew needed to be shared with others. For what was arguably one of the biggest interviews of her life, she couldn’t find anything to wear. After a lot of looking and stressing, she finally pieced together the perfect outfit - a combination that made her feel herself and made her feel like she had a story to tell and a reason to be right where she was.
Olivia attributes the crown to the way that specific clothing made her feel. She knows first-hand what a solid outfit can do for a woman, and she wants to pass this same powerful, unstoppable confidence to women all around the globe. Through Olive, she hopes to encourage and support more women to chase after their dreams and just do the damn thing.
Pageantry was something Olivia was hesitant to participate in and something she never thought she would do. But, she gave it a shot shortly before winning the Miss Pennsylvania crown, and it was because of this experience that she learned to follow her own path and truly be herself. Her attitude and outlook shaped her unique journey and has led her to this very moment.
With a degree in fashion and an entrepreneurial backbone, Olivia came to us ready to go after this goal of hers and begin the process of developing a brand that would allow her to inspire the same level of confidence she learned to feel in herself.
Through market research, a few different surveys, and an in depth-competitive analysis, we knew there was a big gap in the market and that current brands were neglecting the audience Olive aims to serve.
Knowing how competitive the fashion landscape is, we knew we needed a strong brand presence - a movement of some sort - to cut through the noise and differentiate from other options available to professional females. The biggest challenge was making sure the brand would welcome those who are sitting for their first interview all the way up to the top C-level executives.
During our meetings with Olivia, we discussed the future of the brand and where it would come to stand in the marketplace years down the road. After fleshing out extensive business plans, we had a deep understanding of the business model, its specific customers, and its niche offerings. The information gleaned showed us there would need to be a huge emphasis on naming, positioning, and voice and messaging during our brand strategy phase.
Following business development and research, we moved into establishing the brand’s purpose as a supporting leader of women in the workforce. The brand needed to welcome professional women of all types, no matter their age, position or industry. We wanted to position the brand as an inclusive community, inviting any power female to join in.
The brand will offer classic, timeless pieces that can last through any of the latest design trends, having customers’ backs through the small and big moments in their careers. This lasting quality is what led us to the idea of creating a fictitious persona around the name Olive.
The name “Olive” was chosen as an unfamiliar, yet familiar entity. We wanted Olive’s persona to act as a life-long friend to all women, someone they can find comfort in and relate to as they journey through their careers. She represents strength, courage, and perseverance and plays this “old soul” role to help communicate the brand’s vision.
Olive hopes to inspire a new wave of strength and beauty in the world. We want to see women reach well beyond their dreams and do so confidently. Because real beauty is defined by our actions; not by our looks.
We spent a lot of time asking ourselves what really creates confidence and realized that it is action. We weren't looking to inspire a false sense of confidence through Olive clothing. But instead, we were looking to create a movement around action, which is what truly develops confidence in a person. That’s when we landed on the tagline: Modern Confidence.
The brand’s voice and messaging is something that comes naturally to the founder. She knows what she wants to say and has meaning behind everything she expresses. Olivia is looking to instill this motivating, encouraging, and passionate voice in Olive to create a movement of confident action. Modern confidence for the modern woman.
Visual Identity System
When designing the identity system for Olive, we knew how flexible it needed to be in terms of scalability. Eventually, as the brand makes its way into the world, Olive will utilize its brand identity across many user touchpoints, ranging from gift cards to packaging to billboards. With this in mind, we created a responsive logo system consisting of a custom logotype and icon, as well as various submarks.
As we moved forward with a female figure as the logograph, we spent a lot of time planning and sketching before putting any designs into digital format. We knew we needed to be minimal in detail so that the face could relate to a broad audience of women. We were also careful not to portray any distinguishable features in which women might start to categorize or stereotype.
Because Olive plans to be an innovator in the industry, we also wanted the female face to be futuristic and cutting-edge. We used varying stroke weight in the lines to achieve this edgy, yet still approachable look. The end result is a confident facial expression of a woman that is intriguing and curious.
Website Design & Development
As a retail fashion brand, an eCommerce website is a must-have. Since all sales will be conducted online, we wanted a custom website that was scalable and displayed the brand authentically all the way through checkout. We’ve been working with the brand to create full-fledged prototypes and mockups of the eCommerce site, which emphasizes a smooth and seamless customer experience. The site will be under development over the coming months.
Until then, we’ve designed and developed a small landing page where people can discover the brand and learn more information about the clothing line. In addition, users can stay up-to-date on launch by leaving their email or use the contact form to submit an inquiry and get in touch.
The first collection of Olive is scheduled to launch fall 2020. In the meantime, in order to prepare for the first sales, we will continue working with Olivia to develop the eCommerce site in full, provide additional brand support, and prepare for a strong public launch.
Needs & Goals
Name & Tagline Development
Voice & Messaging
Visual Identity System
UX & UI Design
Wireframes & Visual Design
Search Engine Optimization
Content & Marketing Strategy
Website Updates & Improvements
Analytics & Reporting