Any CSOM guy will tell you—with a quick tousle of his coiffed haircut and a flash of that car-salesman smile—that when it comes to business, first impressions are everything. Career fairs scheduled sporadically throughout each semester offer arguably the greatest opportunity to see this principle in practice, as girls don their highest heels and hordes of guys in ties try their hand at sweet-talking Goldman Sachs reps.
But what about the businesses themselves? How can companies dress their best to attract clients and incite interest? Few seem to know the answer to these burning branding questions better than Brielle Mariucci, Breck Wills, and Ali Rae Hunt, all MCAS ‘17—three Boston College juniors who share an astute eye for design. (Note: Wills is graphics editor for The Heights.)
Having just opened shop for the newest business on the BC block, the founders of COAST Branding & Design offer professional-level logo and website reconstruction, in addition to social media strategies for organizations who seek to sharpen their marketing skills. As members of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences class of 2017, they’ve combined their art expertise with computer science savviness to provide clients with a personalized rebranding plan tailored to their individual needs. Having already rebranded for several BC clubs and organizations, COAST has jumped headfirst into the Boston start-up scene and is officially accepting business.
Keeping the “appearance is of the utmost importance” mantra in mind, these girls know that marketing a company with Comic Sans MS blazoned across a businesscard in a jarring puke-green hue is the closest branding equivalent to proudly sporting socks and sandals at a job interview. Conceived from a group text expressing a mutual frustration over poor font choices and ugly insignias spotted on city sidewalks, the business was launched in the summer of 2015.
Boasting extensive backgrounds and experience in marketing, the founders assume individual roles in the company and utilize their various skills to keep things behind the scenes running smoothly. Wills is an economics major with a double minor in studio art and computer science and is especially adept when it comes to the computer. Marucci is pursuing a degree in studio art which gives her an edge when design is concerned, whereas Hunt’s communication classes make her the perfect project manager and media strategist. Summer internships for tech companies and marketing firms have also given Marucci, Wills, and Hunt the technical business know how.
This trifecta of talent has so far worked with the likes of the Fashion Club of BC, the Art Club, and the Madrigal Singers, among several others. Looking to expand their company by bursting the BC bubble, COAST has broken out of Boston to rebrand for the Surf Club at FSU and Joe Jo’Van, a hairstylist based in North Carolina.
As with any new business venture, one of the most difficult parts about getting started has been spreading the word that their company— well, exists.
“We’re still in the process of reaching out to clients. We want to help BC clubs, and our current offer to rebrand them for free is something that we hope will catch their attention,” Mariucci said.
“A lot of groups think we’re trying to change their entire look, but that’s not the case,” Hunt chimed in. “A big part of rebranding is taking a company’s original message and incorporating that into a new design. For a lot of clubs, that can sound scary.”
With important roles in other campus clubs—Wills on The Heights, Hunt as a Her Campus BC Editor, and Mariucci as a research fellow for ceramics professor Mark Cooper—the juniors are juggling other obligations. They prioritize by putting COAST first, however, as the excitement of getting a new assignment is all-consuming for the three creatives.
Despite Mariucci and Hunt’s imminent spring departure to study abroad, COAST shows no signs of slowing down. With plans to temporarily take over the company while her co-founders are away, Wills is ready to remain in Boston and shoulder much of the season’s workload. When the trio is reunited again after spring semester, the girls of COAST hope to have expanded to servicing non-profit organizations in the Boston area.
Until then, COAST will continue to market their unique re-branding services on campus. After only a few short months of being in business, COAST is gaining momentum each day as new clients contact them to ask for their expertise. With its clean-cut logo and professional flair, this small start-up is dressed to impress.
Featured Image by Daniella Fasciano / Heights Editor