Evolution of a Brand: the Dandelion Rebranding

Evolution of a brand article about Dandelion Branding - Photos of Court and Aub from 2016 and 2022

Things are changing at Dandelion! The evolution of a brand is an exciting moment for every entrepreneur. And we are also about to step into one of the largest transitions we have ever experienced. We’re getting ready for a rebrand. For a holistically-focused brand like ours, that means an update to our visual branding, our content, our services, and the audiences that we target. Let’s call it, the great Dandelion Rebranding of 2022.

In this article, I’m going to tell you what’s changing and why. But first, I’m going to share a little bit about how we got here.

The Beginning of Dandelion Branding

Courtney and I (Aub) met in 2014 while we were working for a company called Annmarie Skin Care. We both started in customer support and worked our way into the roles we ended on – Courtney as an operations coordinator and myself as the editorial coordinator. Along the way, we became friends and we infused the idea of customer-first thinking into every process we created (which, by 2018, was basically all of them).

In 2018, I fell in love and moved to the Netherlands, leaving behind my editorial coordinator role and stepping into the great career unknown. The friendship and stability that Courtney offered me was priceless and the inspiration I offered her was what she needed. We missed our daily meetings and the high quality of work that we each bring to the table. By the end of 2018, we had decided to build a business together.

We decided on a name, Dandelion Branding, and gave a label to what we do: build holistic marketing strategies. While we have very well-rounded branding and marketing skills, the business side of things was totally out of our wheelhouses.

So we decided to follow a business course.

I’m not going to tell you the name of it because I honestly don’t want to give them your thought energy. It was an aggressive (read: ultra bro-y) sales and business mindset based on feeling like we were tricking people into being our clients. So… that ended up just being a very expensive lesson in what we don’t want to be in business.

But it didn’t exactly help us figure out how we do want to show up.

Evolution of a Brand: Finding Our Own Brand Identity

You may think, “Oh, this should be easy for you because helping businesses build a holistic brand identity is what you DO.” Heh. Can a therapist heal themselves? While we’re very well  equipped, we’re also very close to our own brand. This is a journey for us the same as it is for any brand we work with.

It starts with a few of our basic truths

  • We both have bachelor degrees in interdisciplinary social sciences. Since the day we met, our conversations have always turned to the news and how we can make positive change in the world. See our 2016 “Talk Bernie to me” shirts? We made those and rallied for days.
  • We’re ambitious and a little bit obsessive when it comes to work, and we both find it ideal if we don’t have to completely separate work life from home life to be fulfilled.
  • We care. A lot. Particularly about the quality of our work and the relationships we build with our clients. When we take on a client, we get invested in the growth of the brand and we want to make sure that we’re more than paying for ourselves.
  • As marketing and branding specialists, we have this operational truth: Marketing is powerful. It’s an absolute weapon when it comes to business.
  • We have always been less focused on “how to make the most money,” than we have been on, “how do we make the largest impact.”

Choosing to Work with Sustainable Brands

After being steamrolled by business bros and recalibrating on our partnership identity, we realized that our intersecting passions lie in the sustainability sector. So we made the simple decision to become a sustainable marketing agency.

And that’s the journey we’ve been diving into since mid-2019. We have been focused on working with sustainable brands AND identifying sustainable practices for the smallest digital footprint for our clients.

Please don’t get us wrong, we absolutely LOVE the work we’re doing. We get to work with cool people and build the digital backbone of the most dedicated brands out there. We’re doing our part to help sustainable brands steward in a more conscious attitude towards consumerism. Plus – every step we take dulls the competitive edge of businesses that do harm. We feel like activists everyday.

Our Evolving Definition of Sustainability

At the end of 2020, we launched the Living Brand Directory, which is our directory of sustainability-focused brands, and we have a sustainability-focused podcast called EnvironMental with Dandelion.

The past couple of years of focusing on learning everything we can about sustainability, incorporating it into our own business model, and talking to professionals from around the world has opened our eyes to what ‘sustainability’ actually means.

Admittedly, in the beginning, we were focused predominantly on environmental and, in some ways, social sustainability. But now our conversations are turning to intersectional conversations that include climate change and the environment, but are just as much about race and class, agriculture, infrastructure, fossil fuels, personal habits, community, and the reality of a global transition. You can actually see that migration if you look close on the Living Brand Directory’s Instagram.

Learning more and diving into what “sustainable” truly means, lead us back to our basic truths. This one in particular:

We are focused on, “how do we make the largest impact.”

The Transition We’re Making Now

While we never stopped asking how to make the largest impact, we haven’t been answering it to our fullest potential. Until now, our primary focus has been on working with conscious brands that have a sustainability mission. That won’t stop – we love working with the brand owners that are motivated to invest in the growth of their business – but we are expanding our focus.

Expanding to our Scope: From Sustainable Brands to Social Enterprises

Connecting with incredible nonprofits and socially responsible businesses has been one of our favorite parts of growing Dandelion. Over the past couple years, we have had the opportunity to work with a few nonprofits and B2B companies that are focused on social good. The experience has been phenomenal! We helped those companies grow to have their largest revenues and have amplified our own sustainable impact in the process.

So when we asked ourselves again, “how can we make the largest impact?” the answer was clear: We need to broaden our focus from “sustainable brand” to “sustainable social enterprises.”

What does that mean for us? It means we’re doing for ourselves what we do for our clients: a rebrand.

The Dandelion Rebrand

Everything we do comes back to being holistic so for us, a rebrand means that we’re going to be making a holistic change to basically everything you see coming from Dandelion

Along with the expansion of the folks we work with, we’re enlisting the help of Kelsey from Coming Up Roses to help us out with a visual shift for our brand. At the same time, we are taking the opportunity to work through our own brand identity process. This way, we get to update our voice guidelines and the type of content we’re creating. Even going so far as to completely refresh our SEO strategy and rebuild large parts of our website.

We have a goal. In Q3 of 2022 we’re going to have our new sustainable strategy in place. And in Q4, you’re going to see a completely refreshed Dandelion!

Stay tuned.

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