Design-led greeting card and art brand, Lola Design is aiming high. This week sees the launch of an integrated PR and marketing campaign, entitled Just Beautiful. The focus is to drive brand awareness among consumers, retailers and potential licensees through the press, online sites, bloggers and influencers in the interiors and lifestyle sectors.
Wife and husband team, Amanda and Frank Mountain, owners of Lola Design have enlisted the expertise of 23PR (the same PR and social media company that has worked with Sara Miller to help build the Sara Miller London brand) while Hamilton Branding, a leading digital marketing, content marketing, social media marketing and branding agency, has produced video content which anchors the digital aspect of the campaign.
“Our dream is to build an internationally recognisable lifestyle brand known for beautiful design. We are still at the beginning of the journey but have a vision to extend that presence across multiple categories into more markets,” Frank Mountain, who looks after the sales and marketing aspects of the business told PG Buzz.
The beautifully shot mini films feature Amanda, Frank and their cute dog Rocky as well as capturing the essence of the Lola Design brand, where nature and design meet.
The videos also includes footage shot in retailer The Imaginarium, (part of the Yorkshire Soap Company), which has several stores.
Although Lola Design has only been trading for a few years, Amanda Fountain, the artist behind the distinctive designs is no stranger to the greeting card world, as she has been a greeting card designer for over 15 years, having worked for Simon Elvin and then as a freelancer for many leading greeting card brands, such as Cardmix, Johnny Javelin, Abacus Cards, The Art Group.
Lola Design products from its increasingly well known Wildlife Botanical collection have recently featured in the Sunday Times Home, The Sunday Mirror magazine, Manchester Evening News and but the ambitions are for considerably more coverage, which will fuel further growth, both in the greeting card and lifestyle categories.
The licensing programme for Lola Design has kicked off with a signing for its Wildlife Botanical designs to appear on accessories for Apple devices with LA-based Casetify, a company which is well known for collaborations with celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker.
Explaining the rationale behind this hefty investment in the digital marketing and PR, Amanda adds: “Our target audience spends so much time in social media, we regularly engage with them directly and wanted to give something back through more relevant content. Our approach isn’t just about posting product shots, we are incredibly passionate about what we do and want to share our story as the brand develops.”
Everyone has a story… Frank Mountain fills in the gaps.
How did you two come to be working together?
“Amanda and I actually went to school together but didn’t get together until we were both working in London about 10 years ago.”
Amanda had been a card designer prior to Lola Designs, what had you been up to?
“I had been involved in building brands. My background is in FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), latterly on the senior marketing team for Arla Foods where I commuted to Denmark on a weekly basis. My role included managing the licensed relationship between Arla and Starbucks for EMEA region. It was a great experience, slightly jet set on the face of it, heading regularly to Copenhagen and as far as Seattle Starbucks’ head office, but I was rarely at home. Amanda and I had always discussed doing our own thing, so was a case of making a start and using our joint skills to build something together. Amanda is the creative one while I handle the business side of things.”
How come The Imaginarium features in your videos?
“Lola Design is based in the historical city of York. This is also where The Imaginarium (which has several beautiful stores now) is located. Part of the Yorkshire Soap Company, the owners share our passion for creating and selling beautiful things. Marcus and Warren (the owners) started their business a little over five years ago, they are unique in what they create and have exceptionally high standards of retail execution.”
What is your dream for Lola Design?
“Our dream is to build an internationally recognisable lifestyle brand known for beautiful design. We have made that start with greeting cards and have expanded to art and gradually are exploring the move into gifts. Some of what we do is produced and managed within our own infrastructure (such as art and cards) but we are looking to partner with other premium brands who have strength in the categories we are looking to enter, such as gift and home. Both us have licensing experience and we understand the benefits of working with external partners to build presence for the Lola Design brand. We are open to different models for each category, the idea being we should always maximise the combined strengths of both businesses and share a joint vision for building a premium brand. Crucial to this is the ability to secure distribution in the right retailers where our target consumers shop and aspire to shop.”