THE INTERVIEW: HOW HAS BRANDING EFFECTED YOUR BUSINESS?
I talked with Pamela Haack at Strada Toscana about how branding, and her decision to work with The Salty Olive has impacted her business. Pamela specializes in niche travel and truly one of a kind hand crafted tours of Tuscany.
With a consistent 5-star guest rating, Strada Toscana is distinct from other small-group tour companies in its extraordinary atmosphere of classic beauty and elegant traditions combined with pure authenticity and insider experiences. Operating exclusively in Italy, and specializing in Tuscany & Umbria, Strada Toscana’s stand-out itineraries are refreshingly unique and irresistibly fun. In her intro Pamela writes, “Although you might get your shoes dusty traipsing through a family-run vineyard, later you’ll savor a chef-prepared, gourmet meal …as the sun sets behind the spectacular Tuscan hills. It’s this fabulous contrast – the rustic and the refined – that resonates with one’s soul, and turns a simple Italy vacation into something truly distinct and unforgettable.” And I could not agree with that more!
Having worked closely with Pamela, I can attest to the fact that not only is this one of the most wonderful and warm inspiring human beings I’ve ever met, but she KNOWS HER STUFF on all things Italia, and she meticulously attends to every detail ensuring the most incredible experiences, that you truly cannot get anywhere else!
What she provides is far more than a “tour”, it is a journey of the heart, a rediscovering of joys and delights you didn’t know you’d been missing, and a re-connection with yourself and loved ones for memories that will last a lifetime.
WHAT’S YOUR BUSINESS, AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
My company is Strada Toscana. We create extraordinary trips in Tuscany so that travelers can have extraordinary vacations … off the beaten path.
WHAT WAS IT THAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO WORK WITH ME?
Several years ago I stumbled across a website that really caught my attention. It was so beautiful and different than any other site I’d ever seen that I scrolled down to the bottom see who had designed it. I never forgot the name The Salty Olive and when it was finally time to rebrand and redesign my own website, I knew that it had to be Sunni.
WHAT EFFECT DO YOU FEEL THAT DECISION HAS HAD ON YOUR BUSINESS?
Having Sunni rebrand and redesign my site was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. The whole experience felt like a facelift for my business – inside and out. Sunni’s carefully planned process helped me to examine my big vision and the long-term goals for my business, as well as helping me to clarify my ideal client. And that was huge.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL THAT GOOD BRANDING & DESIGN HAS HELPED YOU TO DO MORE OF?
No question that having good branding and beautiful design has helped me and my team to focus on marketing and business expansion with confidence. If I’m being brutally honest, I was sometimes embarrassed by my old site and branding, and I can now see how much that held us back. Sunni’s redesign has been essential in giving us the momentum needed to take things to the next level.
HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR BRANDING & DESIGN HAS IMPACTED YOUR BUSINESS?
We continually hear from our customers how much they love the look and “feel” of our new website. The branding beautifully reflects our philosophy of travel, and Sunni’s elegant, yet organic, design attracts a more thoughtful, discerning traveler – which is exactly what we were looking for.
WAS THERE ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT WORKING WITH ME THAT YOU FOUND PARTICULARLY HELPFUL OR DIFFERENT THAN WORKING WITH OTHER DESIGNERS OR FIRMS?
Besides being an absolute joy to work with, I’m convinced that Sunni is part designer, part business coach and part mind-reader. Her insights throughout our rebranding process were priceless, and her confident, yet easy-going, manner made me always feel cared for. In terms of her design talents, Sunni has a way of incorporating color and texture and layout in a way that invites you in. I’ve never seen other website designs like hers – not even close. The whole experience of working with her was uplighting and exciting – so much more than I’d expected.
HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU NOW FEEL THAT BRAND DESIGN IS AS A PIECE OF THE BUSINESS INVESTMENTS PIE?
It’s a HUGE piece of the pie, which in the past I didn’t fully understand. Having a clear brand design has given us a strong foundation for doing everything from product creation to marketing to hiring. It’s essential!
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, WOULD YOU ADVISE TO BUSINESS OWNERS CONSIDERING REBRANDING THEMSELVES OR STARTING NEW?
I would strongly recommend letting go of anything that is do-it-yourself, and say goodbye to any tired, dated or so-so brand design, and make the investment in a professional who is skilled and experienced. There’s just no question that expertly done brand design can help you take your business to the next level, and also allow you to take a deep, deep breath (boy, does that feel good). In my book that brand designer can only be Sunni. I couldn’t possibly recommend anyone else. She’s the bee’s knees.
The power of great design in branding your business is that it not only excites and inspires your clients, but it excites and inspires you too! When you meet your genuine brand, all fleshed out before you, it re-invigorates and re-inspires YOU about it too, it brings your vision to life in a whole new way, and that inspiration goes right back into the business… equipping you with everything you need to meet your market head-on, and grow your business from a fresh and strong foundation. As a successful business owner you already know that whether you’re selling a product or a service, what you’re really selling is an EXPERIENCE, and the best way to sell an experience is to give your prospective customers a “taste”. Here at The Salty Olive we specialize in just that very thing, and we’ve been doing it for 16+ years: distilling it all down to the heart of your business, and designing all your marketing materials to do just that—give your clients a true “taste” and FEEL for YOUR UNIQUE BRAND EXPERIENCE. The fact is people connect on a tactile, and emotional level through words and imagery—it’s what moves them and ultimately inspires them to choose you—that’s why we design your brand as an answer to what your clients most want to feel and experience, because when you do that, you go from being A choice for them, to being THE choice for them.