Branding an event—like CLM did recently with our first speaker in a series on challenger companies—means putting a distinctive stamp on every aspect of a real-life experience. Weaving consistency and excitement into each detail along the way turned out to be quite an experience in itself.
We started with the name, Dog Eat Hog. It’s about the underdog going after the hog of the market share. We wanted to get across the feeling of being standout, scrappy, and bold. In color form, that ended up being hot pink. It’s a jarring, unexpected, in-your-face color that you can’t ignore. Just like a large company can’t ignore the up-and-coming underdog.
We decided that all of our pre-event touches would be digital, with a series of branded emails and a landing page to direct people to RSVP and learn more. Modern, eye-catching, and powerful, the online work stood out in inboxes and on screens, and really spoke to the concept.
But we wanted to make the experience itself consistent with the look attendees had already seen, with the same sense of standout fun. How could the event brand be applied to all material people would encounter? When walking in the door, how will they know they’re in the right place?
We designed hot pink grab bags to act as table decorations, stamped with the eye-catching graphic we used in every element—original artwork by our Associate Creative Director, Max. For the giveaways inside, we branded Yeti cups and gave each attendee a sticker of the graphic—things they’d interact with often to keep the concept top of mind.
When taking a step back and running through the user experience at the event, I thought something was missing. Beyond the swag, what ideas were they going to take away after attending? So I created a bag stuffer card with the main points, branding it to match the rest of the event materials. It included an overarching reminder of what the event covered, and a blurb about CLM. All CLM employees even wore graphic pink shirts to help make it easier for people to approach our team with questions and comments.
My favorite finishing touch, however, turned out to be what could have been a minor element, an afterthought. We wanted to collect tickets for a drawing. “Let’s use a hat, or a jar,” someone suggested. But I saw this as another opportunity to up the ante with the brand flair. “Maybe a piggy bank?” I threw out.
Ultimately, our creative director found a pig piñata. A hot pink physical reminder that we were here to show you how to smash the competition, it ended up being the perfect, hog-wild symbol for this smashing event.