When Michael and Jenna Beard decided to rebrand their photography business, they wanted a sharp focus on the new name and look.
The Delaware couple started Michael Beard Photography in 2012, three months after getting married. At first, Jenna worked behind the scenes, taking care of the business. But over time, Jenna also began picking up a camera and shooting weddings alongside her husband.
Last year, the Beards made it official. They renamed the business to showcase their status as a team of two. The Beards Photography was born. Accompanying it were a new brand and logo. But, the work didn’t stop there. The couple still had to announce the good news.
“We knew (the name change) wasn’t a huge jump, but we knew there could be minor confusion with past and future clients,” Jenna said.
“We wanted to launch the brand in a big way within our means. If we don’t make this as big as we feasibly can, we’re missing the whole point.”
Giving a cup of thanks
The Beards could have accomplished their goal of announcing the name change with a simple email or a postcard. But, they wanted to take it up a notch by mailing a small thank-you gift to past and future clients. The couple considered note pads and other office products, but those gifts didn’t quite fit the brand.
“We wanted something that was practical,” Jenna said.“We didn’t want it to be thrown away. We wanted it to be useful and not super pretentious, but comforting and casual.”
“Michael and I both like coffee and tea,” she said. “Our whole brand is us, so why not choose something that represents us?”
So, the couple contacted 4imprint and requested several samples before landing on the perfect fit—a 17-ounce Kona Mug that featured only the couple’s new logo—a beard and lips. To make the gift feel exceptionally celebratory, they paired the mug with champagne bubble candies, along with a postcard explaining their brand and thanking clients for their business.
They also encouraged the 85 gift recipients to share photos (of course!) of the mug on social media while using the hashtag #thebeardsphotography. Those who did would be entered into a drawing for one free photo shoot.
“It’s not just us talking about our name change and new brand,” Jenna said of the promotion. “We would reach way more people than just us putting it on our Facebook® page. This had more impact.”
Social media lights up
The Beards hoped for 10 people to take them up on their offer. So, they were delighted when more than 30 people posted pictures on social media. The photos not only featured clients, but also clients’ loved ones—babies, dogs and cats.
“It was so fun to check Instagram® and Facebook,” Jenna said. “They were styling (the photos) like Michael and I do when we shoot weddings.
It was cute to see their creativity and the nice things they would say. You can’t buy that kind of advertising. It was really great!”
Clients who didn’t post photos online reached out by email, thanking the Beards for the thoughtful gift.
The Beards say—while small—their only regret is including just one mug in the gift. Their intent had been to respect their clients’ cabinet space. But, clients told them a pair of mugs, representing the wedding photography couple, would have made a perfect couple’s gift.
Overall, Jenna says she and Michael are “super thrilled” with the campaign’s success. Its eventual outcome will be difficult to measure, but in the long run, they hope the mugs become conversation starters among clients and their soon-to-be-married family and friends.
“It’s about scattering seeds and getting people to follow our work,” she said.
Read the blog and see more photos about The Beards’ campaign.