Just Dandy: How to Make Your Brand Bloom

2016 Snowflake Holiday Card

An iconic image, used strategically, has immense branding and marketing power. Take Spring13’s dandelion for example. Each year we reimagine it and create unexpected adaptions for our holiday cards and other promotional material.

The genesis of the dandelion idea came from Spring13’s business model. We cultivate the best marketing and creative talent—represented by the dandelion’s individual flower petals—and bring them together to create custom teams—represented by the fully formed flower—for each client assignment. Our strategic and creative teams develop ideas and campaigns and then disperse them across various media channels, like dandelion seeds that spread and propagate across the landscape.

Our original creations illustrate three essential tenets of branding and marketing:

1. Be authentic

The iconic dandelion image reflects Spring13’s upbeat, playful personality and speaks to the “Spring” in the Spring13 name. We’re a friendly, peace-loving group that’s passionate about developing fresh ideas, imaginative approaches and innovative solutions for today’s complex branding and marketing challenges. This positive, creative tone imbues our work. A perfect example is Spring13’s peace card from 2014, featuring a dandelion in the shape of a peace symbol, a potent image for the accompanying Jimi Hendrix quote: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” In a Valentine’s Day promotion, the dandelion takes the touching shape of a heart, and it bursts into fireworks in a Fourth of July promotion.

2. Be consistent

We incorporate the dandelion image in all of Spring13’s holiday cards and promotional pieces. We may recreate and transform it to adapt it to the message and channel, but the essential form always springs from the iconic dandelion image. In our most recent holiday card, in 2016, the dandelion took the form of a large snowflake, created using an intricate laser die-cutting technique on an all-white pearl paper card. In our 2013 card, featuring Spring13’s lucky number 13, the dandelion is transformed into crystal snowflakes atop green stems.

3. Evoke emotions

Our 2015 holiday card was created in response to the horrible massacres that occurred in Paris in January and November of that year. Spring13 founder Bronwen Kennedy, who is bilingual and spent many years in Paris, was touched personally by the Charlie Hebdo attack, as a close friend’s partner was one of the illustrators killed in the attack. The crisis spawned the idea of using multiple Eiffel Tower images in the shape of a dandelion that come together in the center to form a peace symbol. The accompanying Ralph Waldo Emerson quote—“The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not war”—speaks to the importance of practicing peace, tolerance and cooperation.

Brands built on pillar concepts are able to withstand the test of time and adjust to the evolving media landscape. To truly stand out from the pack, your brand positioning should be strategically sound and adaptable—just like Spring13’s overall business approach and iconic dandelion, with its virtually infinite visual possibilities.