Our company Woolman turned three this year. I feel that in the business world, the passing of time should be calculated in dog years. It is said that the first two years for a dog equals about nine years for a human. And after that, each human year would be about five dog years. The world a growing business moves so fast and the amount of learning that happens per year is more than months. If our journey was counted in dog years it would make us as a company, a teenager.
Teenagers have already learnt about life and begin the search for their own self and values. They want to be different from others, yet fit in. Build meaningful relationships that last. Find their purpose and identity in the world.
Companies are really not that different. In the same manner companies need to do searching in their own soul to find their place and purpose in the business world and to stand out.
This is why we began the brand building journey of Woolman. Our founders had a strong vision for the company and culture they created. In three years, our team has grown to over 60 people in three countries and the importance of shared understanding of our vision and the way we work became essential. Building the future meant pausing and taking a good look at what has gotten us here. It meant taking the values we believe in under careful examination and sharpening them through the eyes of a fast-growing community.
Website renewal or soul searching?
The first thing we learnt was that brand work meant very different things to our people. For many it was about renewing our websites. Some expected to see a change in our logo, colors, illustrations, and pictures. Some saw it through copywriting changes. What was inspiring, was the fact that people were keen to learn about brand work and participate.
We included everyone in the brand journey. We dug deep to find the adjectives, that best described us collectively. As result, we found inner strengths we were unaware of. We discovered shared ambitions in the way we want customers to feel when we work together with them. Looking from inside out, it is not easy to see outside in. This is why we worked with a professional brand architect, who was able to point out the unique elements that make Woolman. Stripping us down to the core of who we are is what our brand identity is really built on.
Brand promise: Hand in hand
The world of commerce is changing at the speed of light. The demand to learn new and letting go of the old ways is present constantly and staying on top of the game is demanding. We noticed that everything we work with, whether it be building a beautiful store, developing the purchase journey, or testing new markets, there is a common nominator. We always learn together with the customers and hold the customers’ hand. We have pulled our customers by the hand out of hard places, held their hands in moments of uncertainty and pushed them uphill with both hands. We are not afraid to take the customer’s hand and work together.
This is why our brand promise became Hand in hand.
Once this was written down and examined closely, we understood how powerful the promise is. Delivering this promise requires dedication from everyone. We need to commit to this and constantly improve. We are able to achieve this by working together as a team, hand in hand.
Building a strong brand
Our own brand journey has only just begun, but as an organisation, everyone is now learning about brands. As we work with innovative merchants and Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brand owners on a daily basis it is beneficial for everyone in our company to understand the importance of brands. We plan to share our experiences on this journey, because experiences on B2B branding journey is not widely shared. And most important of all, we know building a strong brand begins with being brave, giving a public promise and then delivering it – repeatedly.
Mareena Löfgrén, brand manager / Woolman