How do you know when your brand story is hitting the mark? This was a question that Flourist founders, Shira McDermott and Janna Bishop, found themselves mulling over after rebranding their Vancouver-based bakery and mill in 2018. This became even more apparent after opening Flourist’s first brick-and-mortar location in 2019.
Flourist is the only source for premium dry goods, including 100% traceable grains, beans and freshly milled flour sourced directly from Canadian farmers. At their flagship storefront and fully operational cafe, they offer cookies, tarts, buns and an ever-evolving seasonal selection of brunch and lunch dishes made with their line of dry goods.
With a loyal customer base of sourdough and baking enthusiasts, a trove of healthy yet indulgent recipes they share each week with an engaged social network, plus a rapidly growing business both online and offline—Shira and Janna knew it was time to really get clear on the Flourist brand story.
We had the pleasure of guiding the Flourist team through a brand positioning workshop to help distill and propel their brand story. We had four big goals:
- Land on a brand purpose to guide brand growth
- Develop a memorable brand story to capture the heart of what they do and why they do it
- Create brand pillars to guide communication and content planning
- Develop short, punchy brand statements that can be used throughout customer touchpoints to tell their brand story in bite-sized form
One year after completing their brand positioning work, we took a moment to sit down (virtually) with Shira and Janna to reflect on how refining their brand story has helped guide their day-to-day and future business growth.
Why after launching your brand did you feel it was important to pause and reflect on your brand story?
“We were having a hard time concisely giving an elevator pitch. We saw a need for this before the pandemic, but then felt an even greater need after COVID because we had been a restaurant who pivoted into a grocery and delivery service.
“We knew what our purpose was and what drove us as founders—but also knew we weren’t telling our story in a consistent and concise way. We wanted to work with someone to deliver the impact we were trying to convey in words.”
Were there any particular scenarios that sparked the need for this work?
“Mainly from past experiences where we would try and explain our business and it was clear that people weren’t getting it—and knowing that if we want to grow and scale we need to be prepared for the pitching world. We haven’t gone down that path yet, but want to be ahead of it.
“What’s interesting is that if you’re our customer and in our community, you get it because we live it and embody it and our content speaks to it—but telling someone who has never heard of us before what we do was almost impossible.”
What was your experience like going through the brand positioning process with Monday?
“Working with creative agencies gives you license to play—especially with Monday. The onboarding process was great, everyone really listened. And the fact that a lot of the team already knew of the brand and were customers meant a lot. We also had the privilege of using the open office space while everyone else was remote which was special.
“It was seriously so fun but also very powerful. When our final story was presented back to us we were truly overcome—I cried. They’re just such a creative and collaborative bunch who really know how to get to the important stuff.”
How have you used your brand positioning to propel your business since finishing the process?
“Being able to reference the work to guide our communications has been huge—it’s a daily reminder to instill our key messages into everything we do. For example, we’ve done a bunch of hiring this year and used the work to ensure our purpose is clearly articulated in our job postings.
“It has helped refine our marketing strategy and social content, and has also been super valuable when bringing on consultants like a PR firm. But ultimately it has given everyone a purpose. We’re here to do a job, but we’re also striving towards something bigger—building a healthier sustainable community.”
Though our friends at Flourist knew their brand inside and out, they also recognized an opportunity to distill the heart of their business so everyone could get it quickly, using just a few words, and the right words at that. With their second brick-and-mortar location opening in spring/summer 2021, along with a thriving online business and drool-worthy social presence—it’s clear that the team and community are happily (and consistently) singing the same tune.