Our first interview of the year about branding features the lovely Lucile Frégeac, an English to French translator working on marketing and web topics. In this discussion, she gives us a sneak peek of how her business, Oh my Words was created. Lucile can be found on Twitter, Facebook and on her blog.
Hi Lucile, it’s a pleasure to interview you today. Ever since I have known about you and your business, I have always found your brand very consistent. But first things first: where does your will to have a brand come from? You worked in marketing before becoming a freelancer – did that experience have a huge impact on this decision?
Hi Emeline! Thank you so much for interviewing me! I am very honored and very excited to contribute to your series (which is great by the way!).
As you said, I have an extensive marketing background, with formal university education in business and marketing management, followed by 8 years of marketing experience at various companies in France and abroad. There is no doubt that this had a major impact on the way I started my freelance business: after receiving formal training in translation, I actually worked on a business plan that would lead me to create my company rather than simply starting as a freelancer. It actually didn’t really occur to me that it was possible to do things differently, since I was so “formatted” by this “business” way of thinking.
Creating a brand therefore lied beneath creating the company. Whether I was to market the brand “Lucile Frégeac” or to create a new brand name, branding was a part of my business plan.
I think naming your business Oh my Words! was pretty clever – it is a great pun and something that even French people can understand. How did you come to choosing this name?
I love brand names and I have always been very interested in reading books and articles about branding and brands. When I started brainstorming for names for my new business, I first conducted a mini market study to better understand other LSPs’ strategies in terms of branding. And I observed that most of them had chosen names that were pretty straightforward, involving the word “traduction” or “translation”. And I have nothing against this strategy. It just didn’t suit me: I wanted to bring more energy and creativity to my brand, so that it would best represent me. So I started to list more creative and fun names, inspiring myself with all the contents I read every week (fashion magazines, trend reports, business and marketing magazines and websites, etc.). I had already come across various brand names using “Oh my…” (for instance, “Oh my dog!”- isn’t that a great name for a dog’s perfume? – or the new “Oh my bag” campaign by Longchamp). I finally came up with “Oh my words!” which I thought was elegant, original and peppy.
Now, let’s talk about your visual identity, something that is essential for a brand. You told me you chose a professional designer to design your logo. Was that choice difficult? Who did you choose and why?
Indeed, visual identity is key for a brand. And even if I enjoy trying to do things myself, I also think it is necessary to balance the efforts and the time required to achieve a good result: if these are too high, it is probably a much better idea to work with a professional. I followed this strategy and decided to work with a graphic designer. At that time, I was reading the great “Entrepreneurial Linguist” book by Judy and Dagmar Jenner, in which they recommend a wonderful graphic designer, Sandra Busta. I looked up her work and it really appealed to me, so I contacted her and she created my logo.
I think your logo is very representative of what you translate (beauty, fashion, luxury products) because it is very feminine. I might see too much into this, but there is great detail in it, for example the speech bubbles and even the three big circles reminiscent of an ellipsis, all of which remind the customer that your business is related to linguistics. Was that intended? Can you tell us a little about the genesis of your logo?
Before starting to design my logo, Sandra first sent me a few questions to describe my brand and my “graphic expectations”. For instance, she asked me to name a few keywords to describe my business and my target audience. She also asked about my preferred colors and style, and if there were logos I particularly liked or disliked. She then used all these answers to create a few designs, actually four of them, which I just loved! Choosing one was not the easiest part, but I opted for the most versatile one, which I thought would best suit my long term needs. And I don’t think you are seeing too much into it, I just truly think that Sandra did an amazing job with this logo.
We all know that branding is more than a name and a logo. If you had to choose three words to represent your brand, which ones would they be?
Hum, this is a tough question!
I would say marketing, language and professionalism
Finally, how do you manage to convey these aspects (the things that you just mentioned in the previous question) to your customers?
I try to convey these dimensions in everything that relates to my business: website and social network, emails, marketing materials, as well as in the relationships that I build and maintain with my customers. I work hard to provide contents that meet the needs of my customers, making sure that the terminology and style I use are well suited for the intended audience.
Thanks ever so much for being a part of this series, Lucile!
Thank YOU so much, I am so flattered Emeline!