Monday, February 4, 2013

Cody From Lu & Ed Talks About Brand Expansion

Brand Expansion

Hi guys! I am Cody, owner of and creator of Mon-stors, which are eco-friendly toy storage solutions for kids in the form of monsters!

I am honored to be writing this guest post for Jessica. I chose to write this post on my experience with brand expansion and collaborations with other artists. I think as indie designers, we sometimes put ourselves in a bubble, and kind of shut others out of our creative processes. By popping that bubble and inviting other creative minds into your life you may just find a new muse, or even possibly put your heads together with other artists and come up with something entirely new and brilliant!

Last summer, my business got a total facelift by Megean of Megean turned a Mon-stor I had made into a vector image, and he became my mascot. She paired him with fun, bright lettering for my logo and thus, the new face of Lu & Ed was born!

Once I got my final copies of my complete branding package from Megean, I went nuts. I ordered business cards, address labels, magnets, mini business cards, a banner for craft shows, and stickers. I wanted to put my logo on all the things!

And in my quest to put my brand on everything possible, I started thinking about how else I could build my brand representation online and at shows. I wanted to be able to incorporate branding in other ways outside of printed materials and digital images. Insert Project Paint Everything. I have been steadily filling my studio with colorful display pieces for craft shows, all painted using the five colors from my logo! Pictured here is a shutter to hang Mon-stors from, and a shelf for plushes with a monster bunting!

How could I grow my brand online, though? I learned aside from digital images and site design, few people worry about developing their online brand beyond their logo. But I think your brand is about so much more than that. Your brand is an extension of you. It can be reflected in how you talk, how you write, how you photograph your products, how you describe your products, how you engage with others and the work you do within your community. Your brand isn't some two-dimensional thing. It's an entity that should constantly be growing and developing. And as I explored the possibilities of this, I realized I had a really unique opportunity - I could fulfill customer requests for products I don't create, and I could grow my brand at the same time!

In December, I introduced Team Lu & Ed to the public. It is like my brain child. It is an extension of my brand, and it is fueled by my passion to help handmade businesses grow! Essentially, it's like an endorsement program - I chose artists I positively love with great personalities that share my sense of community, whom I have purchased from, to collaborate with because I know their products rock and their service is top quality!

Each collaboration is slightly different, but all incorporate aspects of my branding, whether it's the Mon-stor mascot or just the colors from my logo. We combine that with their unique art forms to create limited edition merchandise that I have had customer requests for that I can't necessarily fill because I don't work in that medium, like purses or bows.

Together, both parties in the collaboration are able to reach a new audience and drive traffic through limited edition merchandise. It's been such a fun experience for me working with Sarah, Cari and Brittany so far! I love helping promote their shops and watching them grow, and I love being able to provide my customers with new product styles they have asked about!

In short, I would highly recommend collaborating with other artists as a way for indie businesses to grow their brand and make new connections, and I hope to see this mentality grow within the handmade community! We have so much to offer one another if we can just pop that bubble we put around our creative processes and start brain storming with other creatives!

And, if you made it all the way to here, I have a little bonus for readers of Jessica's blog! 

I am super excited to announce that Team Lu & Ed has banded together to bring you a totally epic giveaway! Check out the goods!

One small Mon-stor from Lu & Ed
One toddler sized backpack from Echoland

One Mollipops chunky necklace for kids from The Mollie Shop

One mini Valentine's Day sculpture from Little Green Guy (left)

Jessica has been kind enough to guest host this giveaway, so you can enter to win below! 
Good luck!

 You can earn multiple entries by Tweeting the giveaway daily, sharing the giveaway daily on Facebook, or by visiting the sponsors Storenvy shops and 'Envying' one great product a day! (Envying is Storenvy's form of 'liking' a product)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for guest hosting this giveaway! It means so much to me! :)

    1. Thank YOU for being a sponsor on the blog!

      Mike is painting my studio today so I will be getting you some new pics with my awesome Mon-Stor later this week!

  2. Jessica--you rock! thank you soo much for hosting this!!! Seriously awesome!! :-) xo

  3. That bunting is adorable!!

    1. Thank you! It is part of my craft show display! :)

  4. You are so totally creative. I really like your designs. Those piece of your were so cute. My daughter liked it, too.


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