Do I believe in fate? Probably more than I believe in God but when I bumped into a Facebook friend four months ago I think fate was certainly smiling. We got chatting and it transpired we were going to the same place (there’s fate again). My friend was busy temping while working on a plan to open a café come bistro with a strong home-cooked food ethos. We spend the journey talking business plans and branding.
You don’t work for an accountancy company and not learn how to do thorough business plans with a water tight budget, a three-year forecast and a with host of back up evidence to prove it. Accrual accounting and financial speculation is not something I would call a forte but I surprised myself by coming up with loads of things my friend needed to think about in the first years of getting going (90% of which she was already there on so I was coming to the party a little late, but still).
I am presented with a business card as we sit on the tube and am a little disappointed to find a cutlery set as an image. It strikes me as predictable and a trite as a chef’s hat. My mind is getting all creative. I’m thinking images, font, colour, marketing plans and promotion. By this point fate is pissing herself laughing because this is just the creative adventure I thrive on.
Three months down the line and I’m drawing up logos and thinking brand guidelines. We’ve identified the feel of the business, its ethos, who we want to reach and have a range of words to describe its tone of voice. The brand has to work both large and small on a bistro awning, menu and a Twitter feed. It can’t be too childish but it can’t be too sophisticated because it’ll either alienate or look out of place. I am having a fantastic time trawling fonts and looking through my Pantone guide.
This is just the start of the journey for there’s more to a brand than the logo but it won’t survive unless people know about it. So at some point we’ll need a marketing plan and I can almost feel the sparks flying already.
Fate can kick in when you least expect it and isn’t always positive. However I am very pleased to have bumped into BeeBee Mey on Villiers Street all those months ago and I’m looking forward to the opening of BeeBee Mey’s Bistro.