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brittany stodgell

+ millicent schnebly

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"owning your business means owning your brand" business brew talk notes

Brittany and I did a thing!! Our friend Josh over at TinderBox Marketing had us in for one of his early Business Brew talks—and it was such a good time! Cue all of the nervous emotions, but Brittany and I rocked it out and talked all about how "Owning your business means owning your brand".

We thought you might be interested in some of our notes from the talk—so here they are!

"A brand = the “other” graphics, beyond your identifying mark, but it doesn’t stop there. Your brand also includes your mission and values and positioning statements. Your voice and the way you communicate across channels. It’s your business’s personality.

Think about a brand like Buffalo Wild Wings or LuluLemon. Two totally different brands, two totally different personalities. But think about how each of them communicates with their audience. The words they use, the colors in their advertisements, menus, and social media."

"Your logo is a very small identifying mark within the greater brand. It serves as something that most people recognize, but your brand is what makes you stand out from the crowd and make people say “that company is really cool because _____”. "

"All of the voice and messaging of a business is up to the leadership. But designers can build you things that communicate visually what you’re trying to say—and some do it well, and others not so much. "

"Responsive, fluid branding is key. Creating elements that can play together no matter the space or platform. This means multiple marks — your main logo and then some “alternates”."

"Think about that tiny space on the top of a browser where the gmail icon is, or how your logo might look in a super horizontal space versus a perfect circle. You need all of the options to showcase your brand in different spaces."

"Fluid branding can also include fun things like patterns, textures and illustrations. It can include special ways to edit photography to keep looks consistent, and special color palettes to differentiate aspects of the brand—think a coffee shop that roasts multiple varieties of coffee and needs their branding to extend across the whole collection."

"The other key — and this is the biggest key. The key to the kingdom, if you will, and this bleeds into our last point on how to position your brand to work for you..."

"Your brand needs to focus on who you’re trying to reach. Define your target audience. Knowing who these people are is the MOST important step in owning your brand. If you don’t know who you’re talking to how will you know what to say? How will you know what is important to them? How will you know that they’ll appreciate all of the hard work you’re putting in?"

"Okay, so maybe you already know this, and you already know who your audience is—great! It’s time to take a good look at the brand you have and make sure that your audience and your look and messaging align."

"So imagine if you put all of that information into Facebook and you were targeting that specific person, but then all of your imagery—logos, photography, colors—along with your message, were revolting to the person who was seeing it. You just wasted your money."

"Almost as important as making sure your target audience is interacting with your brand is making sure your brand is consistently interacting. This can be obvious things like time interval, but it can also be less obvious things the consistency of the graphics you’re sharing. How often does a person engage with your logo? Sub-logo? Is your voice consistent across all of your posts? Print material? There’s a million things we could dive into and a lot to keep track of."

"Okay, that’s a lot of information. Why do we care? Why do we care about our branding and messaging and target audience and everything else in between? Because we love what we do, and we want to reach people. And also we love what comes from the effort — money."