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Andrew set down a Tesla porcelain mug (iconic matte black exterior with red high-gloss interior) on the night stand. Moments later, I heard him slurp his coffee. As I murmured “Good morning,” I blinked at the clock - 06:47.
It felt good to sleep in.
It was July 23rd, and our twice weekly publish on social media was going to go out at 07:15 that day. Before it autopublished, I wanted to check in with Andrew on our communication strategy in the event we wanted to make last minute adjustments.
On serenadewind.com, the cover art for this latest post was stock photo “In design we trust.” Based on the patterns of activity on Facebook and Instagram, I had decided to break with the past consistent art use (i.e., the cover art ties from website through all social media outlets). Instead, I opted to splash the Serenade Wind logo for the cover art to get more exposure. Before doing so, I asked Andrew for his opinion.
Do we want to expose the logo on social media?
Would you rather use social media to encourage followers to click through to the website to see the logo as a reveal?
A vast majority of followers, 👍 or ❤️ a post based on the image and look no further. A cherished few of the followers will click to visit the website. So, given that the purpose of a logo is to establish a brand and expose it as widely as possible, we decided to switch the cover art on the social media feed.
Using that principle, Andrew also suggested we take it one step further and swap out our profile photos everywhere: Facebook, Instagram Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Ravelry, etc. We decided that we should lead with our best asset, s/v Rachel J Slocum. At the moment, most of our followers are sailors or those who have an affinity to sailing. Some of the comments we’ve heard include:
“That is one magnificent schooner! Hope you post LOTS of photos!”
“Congrats. Hope you know we are all jealous.”
“The seller says that she is a heard turner in every port she sails into, but I thought that was just pride talking!”
“I don’t think it is pride talking - she’s gorgeous.”
“Magnificent vessel. This boat will take you anywhere.””
“Holy Hannah!! She’s beautiful!”
“Welcome to our wonderful world of schooners! (We have a Freedom 39 Pilothouse Schooner).”
“You guys are going to build soooo many memories on that vessel.”
“Damn nice boat. Love it. Hope it all works out. Love from Idaho!”
Naturally, we concluded that the contemporary illustration of s/v Rachel J Slocum would replace our smiling faces in Serenade Wind profile photos everywhere.
This isn’t about ego. This is about branding.
Brand Use Cases
When it comes to defining the use case for the Serenade Wind logo, our first instinct is to stick with the theme of “unique.” The Serenade Wind logo is unique just as s/v Rachel J Slocum is unique.
So by extension, why not also provide a unique product to the first few early adopters and loyal followers of serenadewind.com?
As we mentioned in our last post, we are making that possible through Patreon.
To the first 50 members of the Serenade Wind crew, we will give away a unique, handmade item with our logo affixed to it, likely a knitted hat, scarf, cowl or - if you fancy some bling - handcrafted bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry.
You will not be able to find these items anywhere else. Just as the molds were destroyed once RJ Slocum was built, each of these gifts are one-of-a-kind, largely because I don’t like to repeat myself. Andrew knows this first hand, since I told him that on our first date.
For those who follow our story on Instagram and Facebook – and especially for those who follow on Ravelry – I have been posting photos of the latest finished knitted objects. I’ve enjoyed this aspect of retirement, and to thoroughly immerse myself in fiber arts.
The current count of projects totals over 200 finished objects. Note, I am currently crocheting a blanket, recycling alpaca yarn from two pillows cases and a sweater Upcycle R Us. Shall I say… it’s taking forever! Because I tend to get impatient with blankets, I’m also knitting a scarf, which I just finished on the roadtrip back from Seattle.
Anyhoo… we have other ideas that follow this theme. They’re still half-baked, so we’ll introduce them over the coming months. I’m pretty excited about them and think you’ll get a kick out of them too!
In addition, we are also planning to introduce a product line featuring the Serenade Wind logo cleverly designed by Nick. We will be rolling out these products in the coming months.
While we’re preparing to cruise the world, we read up on some of the customs and practices around the world. Cruisers have suggested getting business cards, guest books, and other ways to chronicle our adventure and to keep in touch with others.
The Serenade Wind logo will also be featured on business cards for our boat. These are useful for keeping in touch with friends ashore or on other boats.
In addition to the logo, the card would include:
- Boat name
- Registration number
- Marine Station Call Sign
- Blog URL
- Boat Profile
- Crew names
- Email addresses
- Ham call signs
- Instagram / Facebook names
For the moment, we used the stamp to create care labels for our gear. In the future, the Serenade Wind ship stamp will be used mostly to decorate guest books. Noonsite remarks:
A ship’s stamp is greatly appreciated in many countries where, for some strange reason, a rubber stamp has a certain authority.
We may use it when applying for visas or receiving bonded goods aboard. Sailing Eurybia provides further recent examples.
Typically, the information on the stamp would include:
- Boat name
- Documentation number
- Owners’ names
- Place for signatures
It’s a fact of life that one may encounter opportunists wherever you go. We fully expect that in some impoverished ports, people will test you to see what they can get away with.
The vast majority of customs officials are professional in their conduct. Of the hundreds of officials and in more than 40 countries visited by Beth Leonard, she can account for only two individuals who even hinted at a bribe when they were clearing in or out.
In one instance, she handed him a photograph of their boat Silk, a little memento they carried for friends they met along the way. She advises not to be incensed or assume you have to play along when asked for a bribe.
In some cases, the officials see no reason not to give it a try. They are easily discouraged by someone who doesn’t appear to understand - especially if the confusion is accompanied by an excess of good cheer.
George Day, publisher of Blue Water Sailing, remarked, “Almost everything in Indonesia is negotiable.” Mark Scott who sailed extensively throughout Africa with his family agreed, “Americans assume if we’re asked for something, we’re being blackmailed, and we can’t say no. That’s not true in these cultures. The attitude is that they might as well ask, but no hard feelings if you refuse.”
In general, cheap cigarettes, booze, and clothes will smooth the way… so why not Serenade Wind mementos? I think of it as a win-win. When they wear, barter or otherwise use the Serenade Wind gear, we will benefit from local, boots-on-the-ground advertising campaign.
Our global branding becomes local.
We hope to share news on our future Pirate’s Booty plans soon. Don’t forget International Talk Like a Pirate Day is coming up on September 19th! Thanks for spreadin’ the word – and the word is, “Aaarrr!”
Thanks for reading!
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