Thursday, 13 October 2011

There's lots of chocolate to be found at u-ni-k

Did you know it's National Chocolate week (like we needed an excuse!). Well we celebrate chocolate every day at u-ni-k.

OK I could fill this page with lots of lovely chocolate recipes but I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk a little bit about branding. No no no... don't run off.. it's an important part of starting a business. I promise to add in a chocolate recipe as well.

Branding is important. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. So how you name and brand your company should mean that people understand who you are and exactly what your company is about in a first glance.

Now when starting out u-ni-k, Anna and I spent many months discussing names before coming up with u-ni-k. Not that we were sure about u-ni-k, we knew we wanted to incorporate Ida and Kathryn in the name somehow and I'd penciled in InK but InK didn't tell people who we were and what we were about in that first impression. [Sam of course was still a twinkle in the eyes of his parents so we didn't have to try for the S... or we could have been Sink!]

So here are the questions we asked ourselves [taken from our meeting minutes]:

Create a fictional bio for your brand / company. What are they like? What values does it have?

What does your brand want from life? What are their motivations? What bugs them? What’s important? 

Trigger the right connections, what words are going to trigger a response from your future customers?

What brands would our future customers already trust?

Is there anything we can “borrow” from these brands?

ABOVE ALL ELSE: Be focused and specific: a company or product that tries to satisfy everyone, satisfies no one.

So here we are, an online resource for unique children's gifts, called u-ni-k gifts. Did we succeed in naming our company correctly? Are you aware of who we are and what we do? Are our values clear? Do drop us a line and let us know how we did, we're always happy for some feedback.

What happened to the chocolate I promised you?! Oh yes, this is the more subtle part of our branding. We don't have the word 'Children' in our company name, OK so we have it as part of our strap line but we don't use our strap line very much. So where's the reference to children?

Instant chocolate mess?
Just add a grandparent!
Ever wondered where the u-ni-k chocolate hand is from? A lot of thought went into that colour. If a child mixes all the paints together – what colour is formed? If a child squeezes together all the play doh or plasticine? What colour do you get?

Anyone who has a little person in their life or has given a small child a square of chocolate will be more than familiar with the u-ni-k colour. Yes, those chocolate handprints would remind any parent or grandparent of a time when there were lots of brown handprints to be found all over the house!
So I used Kathryn's handprints & footprints from when she was 3months old and used photoshop to colour them that lovely chocolate brown!

To celebrate chocolate here's my favourite chocolate brownie recipe:

250g butter
200g dark chocolate
80g coco powder (or hot chocolate powder)
65g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
360g caster sugar
4 large eggs

Heat oven to 180C
Grease and line a baking tray

Melt the chocolate and butter (you can do this in a microwave or in a bowl over simmering water – results are the same).

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Add the chocolate / butter mix to the bowl and mix

Beat the eggs and add them to the bowl

Mix well – leave some lumps and bumps if you like.

Pour them into the tray and bake for about 25mins.


You can add nuts if you like but then they are not so baby friendly!

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