Pulling Back the Curtain on Our New Branding
On behalf of the team here at CustomCat, I want to welcome you to our new era!
Whether you’re one of our long-time partners or are just getting acquainted, we wanted to take a moment & pull back the curtain on what you’re witnessing – the exciting evolution of CustomCat.
In the CC offices we’ve been calling this the “Rebrand” – but that doesn’t exactly do it justice. This is no “slap a coat of paint on it & call it a day” kind of project. But it’s not a total overhaul or rebuild, either. So what is it, then? I’m glad you asked!
A Recommitment & Reimagining
The best way to describe it is that it’s a recommitment to our mission, along with a reimagining of our place in the world & the impact we can have on it. We’ve always been about powering businesses with quality print-on-demand products. While the gears of this rebranding have been turning for quite some time, it took on a new sense of urgency & importance earlier this year.
For the CustomCat team & millions of others around the world, COVID-19 introduced a new perspective on things. We watched as life was turned upside down for people & businesses everywhere, including our own. For several weeks, our facilities were forced to close & we were left wondering how & when life would return to normal, & whether we could even endure long enough for that to happen. But for as long & difficult as those weeks were, they also yielded unexpected fruit in the form of having the time & space to step back & gain perspective on ourselves & our purpose.
At first, it was pretty unnerving. Like you, we saw once reliable jobs & businesses disappear by the millions as uncertainty gripped the world. People who the day prior were gainfully employed, found themselves stuck at home the next, anxious about the future, & with more questions than answers.
But as time passed, a new trend started to emerge. Instead of staying down, we saw these same people pouring themselves into creating new products & businesses from scratch. People from all walks of life & age groups – even people in their 80s – reached out to learn how to turn their product & business ideas into a reality. The world changed so quickly for so many, but instead of giving up, they leaned in with enthusiasm & got to work building something new & promising.
We also saw businesses that have traditionally relied on brick & mortar locations & in-person transactions – like gyms, bars & restaurants, & boutique shops – quickly & creatively evolve their operations to develop supplementary revenue streams to stay in business. They moved online, started offering new products & services & ways to serve their customers, & most of all – refused to quit.
It was an exciting thing to witness & brought a new seriousness & inspiration to our work. Suddenly our products & services weren’t just commodities for businesses to sell. Our purpose became connecting people with the products & resources to support themselves & build better futures for their families. From people just starting out to people running multiple high-volume stores, we saw rugged entrepreneurialism create hope & opportunity where it seemed absent a short time before.
In many ways, this was the genesis of the evolution you’re seeing today.
It’s All About the Entrepreneur
The entrepreneur is at the heart of it all, & the word itself has almost mystical qualities. Think about it – there’s nothing that really prevents anyone from being one, yet there’s a strong sense that the label must be earned. One never grows out of being an entrepreneur, either, because there’s no title greater to attain. Yet it’s still something so revered to be an entrepreneur – a badge of honor that’s worn proudly by those that walk the path. There’s real power behind this word – but why, exactly?
I believe it’s because this word captures so much of what we aspire to be as humans – the skills, attributes, & virtues we champion in people. It signals ingenuity, independence, & purpose. It elicits feelings of freedom & accomplishment. Entrepreneurs are equal parts artists & scientists, boldly moving through life making things happen. Pillars of their families & communities. Captains of their own destinies.
At our core, we’re about empowering entrepreneurship & entrepreneurs. We believe that, innate within each person, there is an entrepreneurial spirit. That there is a natural yearning to express our individual potential & become untethered from limitations real or imagined, inside & out.
We also know that unlocking it can be profoundly difficult. Circumstances, self-doubt, misfortune – often out of our control – can easily thwart our efforts.
But the dry tinder of entrepreneurial potential often just needs a spark to be set ablaze – & we aspire to be that spark by connecting people with technology, products, & knowledge that empowers entrepreneurship in today’s world.
Earning Our Stripes
A brand can have a powerful effect on people, & our objective has been to ensure thats ours is positive both inside & outside our organization. We wanted to create a brand that encourages us & our partners to be our best selves. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, we value authenticity, resourcefulness, honesty, & hard work. Just like you, we have big plans & are doggedly pursuing them day in & day out. We’re growing with you & because of you. In so many ways, this is a journey we’re making together.
That’s why ‘Earn Your Stripes’ feels like the perfect slogan. It’s a message both to prospective & current partners, but also to ourselves. It’s a reminder that we have to go out & earn it every day in order to achieve our objectives. There are no shortcuts or secret formulas – it takes hard work & dedication to ‘Earn Your Stripes’ – & that’s exactly what we intend to do.
To partners & prospective partners, it’s a promise that when you make the commitments & sacrifices it takes to build your businesses, we’re with you 100% of the way. Whether in the form of fulfilling your orders or providing insights, knowledge, or encouragement, we believe in YOU & are here to help you make it happen.
Celebrating Our Past as We Move Forward into the Future
The story of CustomCat is the story of every great entrepreneurial journey. It took years learning, testing, succeeding, failing, & overcoming challenges to get off the ground, & those formative years made us into who we are today. We wanted to make sure we paid homage to our past as we move forward into the future.
You can see it in our colors. While we updated the tones to make them more attractive & complimentary, we stuck with blue, green, & white as our core color palette. Our logo, too, maintains key similarities to the past while bringing us into the present & future.
We also wanted to capture more of our personality, as well as the personalities of our partners. So we added more color, imagery, people, & excitement into the mix. We’re light-hearted, positive-minded, & creative, but also professional & disciplined in our approach. We love expressing ourselves in our work & felt our brand would be best served by conveying these qualities.
Put most simply, we set out to create a brand that’s inspiring – because we’re inspired by YOU & what you do.
We hope you like what you see so far, & let us know what you think in the comments below. It’s just the beginning & there’s still so much work to do, but one thing I can promise you is this: you’re going to want to stick around for the ride. We have big plans in the works & the fun’s just getting started!
With sincere gratitude for all your support,
Head of Brand Marketing – CustomCat