Andrea Baxter Launches Bratface

Bratface: [brat-feys] noun – a term of endearment used towards the people in your life that you love that just seem to drive you a little batty every now and then.

Urban Dictionary

Andrea Baxter

We first spoke with Andrea Baxter last year about the remarkable story of Smart Cookies, the first company that she co-founded.  Today, she’s back to talk about her latest business venture, Bratface Marketing.

Andrea knows the importance of investing in your story, brand and identity, and understands the exponential benefits of pulling a great team together to do so.  She is passionate about marketing as an outlet for her creativity and her ability to connect others.  Here, Andrea tells us about branching out on her own.
Bratface Marketing

Loaded Bow: How did Bratface come to be?

Andrea Baxter: Prior to Smart Cookies, I worked in marketing and I was painfully missing it.  It’s a real creative outlet for me.  Also, an important part of the Smart Cookies philosophy is about making more dough, so I thought what better way then to work in my area of expertise?  I still had contacts in the industry, and was doing projects here and there, so creating a marketing company just made sense.  I love working in a team, but it is also really exciting to be able to make decisions independently and one I can call all my own.

Inevitably, I’m asked about the name!  I wanted a name that would reflect my personality, my culture and my history.  Bratface is a term commonly used in Newfoundland where I was born.  It’s actually in the Newfoundland Dictionary (yes, we have our own dictionary)!  Bratface was one of the nicknames my father called me when I was being a bit cheeky.  That’s special to me because my father is not only my business mentor, but someone who I am very close with and have a great deal of respect for.  He was very successful by 28, but he was always very fair and very modest. Bratface was a good fit because it balanced being conservative, having fun and was true to my playful nature.  It adds just a touch of smartass as well!

LB: How will you market Bratface?

AB: It has been a very organic process.  My contacts have been a really valuable source, and I have been able to benefit from word-of-mouth marketing.  I am so thankful that I kept my foot in the door, while staying under the radar!  Networking continues to be really important.  And of course, it’s important to implement social media marketing initiatives through bloggingFacebook and Twitter. For any small business getting off the ground, these are great outlets to use where you can get access to so many business people.

LB: Bratface is still a very young company.  What have been some of the challenges you’ve experienced so far?

AB: Sometimes companies can be hesitant to bring fresh blood into the organization.  People can ask for help, but can be reluctant to give up control.  Trust and confidence are really important to help people let go.  I seek to put together the best team that I can for my clients.  A lot of it is about project management, and I’m up front about that. If I know people that can help me with a certain project who are more qualified, I will bring them on board. Its the best way to highlight people’s talent and let them take the lead.

LB: What draws you to marketing?  How did you get into it?

AB: Let’s be honest: marketing is the underdog of every company, but we need to spend money to make money.  It isn’t an instantaneous process, but one that is an important investment and one that will always be needed. Period.

I am really passionate about the creative process, and it was my father who really encouraged me to work in a creative field.  I always thought that I would go into medicine – I actually studied Art History, American Literature and Biochem in university!  so when I ended up in marketing as my profession, I don’t think a lot of people were surprised.

LB: What do you see in Bratface’s future?

AB: I would like to keep it small – an intimate, boutique agency where I am able to focus on a few, select clients.  I also love to move between industries because I have been fortunate to work in so many different ones, but I also want to stand apart in my industry.  My goal is to stay self employed for as long as I can because once you have been bitten by the entrepreneur bug, you want to stay there!

And we have no doubt that she will!  Keep reading for a taste of what Bratface has to offer and to follow Andrea online!

Corporate Identity & Brand Standards

Every company should have an identity that is easy to recognize and association with and by the public. Its the ‘persona’ of the company/brand. This can be displayed through the logo, brand colors, and any type of marketing they promote to the general public. For example, part of Nikes corporate identity is their ‘swoosh’ logo and McDonald’s is the golden arches. If a company has done a good job at exposing it properly through various marketing, sales and PR channels, their consumers should be able to identify their brand just by looking at the logo.

A brand standards guide is a very standard visual guide for a companies internal use only. This maps out the entire brand of a company from logo and logo color variations, to basic logo application, correct and incorrect usage of a logo/brand, correct fonts and its usage and much more. The manual can be a small or very large, depending on the companies branding guidelines and company size. It is typically used as a guide for all employees (especially the marketing/design team) to understand how the companies brand is properly represented and displayed to their target customers/consumers and general public. With my extensive background on branding, I know how to build a standard brand manual from scratch that encompasses the companies creative vibe and personality so it is illustrated and explained professionally.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is a fairly new(er) term and not your traditional type of marketing. SEO is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.  Search engines would be Google or Yahoo. The main purpose of SEO is to ensure that your company name and all terms related to your service or product, is at the top of the list on these search engines. It can be quite a costly method of marketing, depending on how many terms you want to searched via the search engines. However, some websites hit the top of the list organically due to media attention or word of mouth. I have worked with companies with extensive SEO/SEM needs ranging from smaller budgets of only a couple hundred dollars to companies with budgets of over $500k and over hundreds of key search terms.

Lastly, all of the links you can include in the article of where to find me!

LinkedIn

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter

Bratface Site
Bratface

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One Response to “Andrea Baxter Launches Bratface”

  1. Thanks Gen for doing this interview. Everytime i read how the Smart Cookies are doing good in the world, i get so excited! Thanks Andrea and all the best in your new adventure!

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