Here is the label I have designed for LuSan. (More about her business in a moment)
The brief was as follows: This is for a new business in the North of Myanmar (previously Burma). LuSan has been researching this as a possibility on a 9 month-once-a-week intensive Micro Business Course. She is 29 and has been working as a domestic nanny for my son and his wife, Andy and Anna in Singapore to help her family financially. They are leaving in July and her future is bleak if she stays – she may only stay as an unmarried migrant domestic, or she can go home to an impoverished war-torn country. She is going to start her own business using local resources and local labour (her family initially) and hopes to change the familys’ circumstances and provide employment locally in due course.
- LuSan’s favourite colour is green.
- We need to show a photo of a corn cob.
- The label must be simple and colourful.
- Her main selling point is “heart healthy”.
- The label must appeal to local people, so a photographic image will be more appealing than a drawing, which might work better if Waitrose was the client!
I have chosen simple bold good-quality fonts. Bright colours on a product like this is important and I thought I’d get away with doing two hearts, especially if one has energy and a smiley! LuSan asked me to make the red heart bigger and her name a bit smaller, which I did. The second heart is meant to function like one of those generic logo-symbols – in this case “heart healthy” as her by-line is: ‘for tasty food and healthy hearts’ . The blank space at the top is for her to add something in Mayamese – which is important to indicate that it is a local product. Myamese is lovely – here is a sample (not sure what it says, but I know its not rude!)
When I was looking at colours for the label – the yellow and green is obvious but I considered flourescent pink as there is a lot of this in Sinagporean food labelling. However, the red is more earthy and Myanmar has rich earthy colours in their woven goods.
I was going to purchase the picture of the corn cob as this one is very low-resolution and from a photo-sales-website, but my brother who does professional photography took some good photos of corn for me – doing his bit! (Thanks, Des). Andrew and Anna will sponser the printing of the labels.
LuSan lives in Nampaka, Kutkai Town area, Myanmar Shan State, which is near the border of China and well situated for distribution. Here is an extract from her business plan (which I proof-read and edited as English is her third language) while I was visiting Andy and Anna in April.
4.4. Branding, Promotion & Communication
The brand of my edible oil is NO.1 which is easy to remember. It is a lucky number and I am initiating edible corn oil in my village and country. I will call it LuSan’s No.1 Corn Oil so that it sounds friendly and accessible and relates to someone born in Myanmar and will encourage people to support their local economy. There is a byline of For tasty food and healthy hearts because this is our main concern.
I will communicate the value to make everyone feel that “this product is worth it”
I will also donate No1 Corn Oil to a children’s charity in the community, thus promoting No.1 Corn Oil further.
Advertising will be through phone, viber, email , social media, posters and billboards. (She’s good at social media)
I will contact doctors and health centres and ask them to tell their patients about the benefits of No.1 Corn Oil
It is an ambitious project, but she is determined and has done lots of research and homework. She feels so strongly that she needs to be doing something for her country as well as for herself. Unless we have ideals, dreams and visions, we can’t really get anywhere. I cannot vouch for the success of this new enterprise but I can vouch for LuSan’s integrity and work ethic.
I have been inviting people to help sponser her with gifts of any amount – from the price of a cup of Costa to whatever they feel moved to give. If you would like to sponser her, please contact me by email. I will be sending her a bank draft at the end of June and will pay bank charges and Pay-pal commissions plus my contribution, so that every bit you give, goes to her.
On another matter entirely: I am thinking about making my blog a bit more philosophical in that I thought it may be interesting to pose the challenges I work with (verbally) then, a few days later, give my solutions after you have had an opportunity to think about your ‘take’ on them. Of course there are many good solutions for every problem and mine is only one view. So you may have noticed a slight shift in thinking – but if you prefer the old style of “this is what I did on my latest project” etc. let me know.
This is why I asked you what inspires and motivates you or how you would respond to a brief. Of course you are more than welcome to just read passively and wait to hear my solutions. I am also hoping to have more guest blogs. xxx