Launching a business is tough at the best of times, but none more so as a first time business owner....I'd spent years looking for that perfect business idea and spoiler alert: it doesn't exist. Lightning was conceptualised to fill the gap that exists in the luxury travel & lifestyle recruitment world. I wanted the brand to be full of personality and bold colours and really go against the grain...the website itself was actually the very last thing to be completed and i wrote the copy myself on launch day in under 3 hours.
As my client list grew and I gained more experience in the recruitment sector I realised just how important having a brand that people can relate to was...yes clients liked working with me personally and knew my values, but for new business the brand was very in your face and focused solely on the luxury travel agency market...but my clients were becoming more diverse. "It's fine I can win people over with my charm" i thought to myself, clearly in denial about the whole sitch, until when C-19 hit and I actually had a chance to reflect properly on how investing in the brand is more important then ever.
I went out to tender to a few companies and eventually settled on Huzzah! a recruitment specialist website and CMS provider based in Birmingham. Like all clients I loved working with Harriet, the owner, directly and also with her fabulous team, building a strong relationship from the start.
We went through a pretty brutal marketing meeting over Zoom so I could talk through who I am, who my clients are, who my clients clients are, and what I wanted to achieve from the aesthetic of the brand. The questions I was asked really made me think about exactly what it was I was trying to achieve: We looked at various websites across the industry and talked about tone and what our USP's are and I then went away merrily and had a little mini breakdown when I realised what I thought were my USP's aren't in the slightest.
Confidence crisis over, Harriet and Rich (her superstar designer) then went away and worked on an initial pitch to me. I'd told them to push it as far as they could as I'd rather have to pull them back to push them forwards. I think the best quote from that meeting was when Harriet said to me 'Chris are you okay...as your face really doesn't look happy right now' and it wasn't. The concept was amazing with a nod to Bauhaus and bold colours teamed with the Heritage luxury travel from the 1970's, but the implementation was on a black background with shapes and I couldn't get on board.
The Huzzah! team wont mind me saying that we then had a lovers tiff when things hit a bit of a roadblock, but we worked through it and went back to the drawing board. What had actually happened is we'd realised something together that we hadn't previously....colour was key to the aesthetic and we could actually put some personality on the website and be a brand that our clients truly wanted to be associated with.
Fast forward a few weeks and as I'm writing this blog we're mere days away from going live...we have worked as a partnership to get Rich's initial concept of Bauhaus and Heritage to a place that is truly the new Lightning brand. From the colour scheme, to the images and from the font style, to our new colour blocking, everything has been an insanely fruitful collaboration. When I was writing the copy for the first time I felt as though I have a brand, and that brand is clear and has a unique point of view in the industry. It's been such a pleasure working with the Huzzah! team on this.
And as for now? Well the luxury travel and lifestyle sector we hope you're ready for us, as we're here to stay. ⚡️