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Meet Bethany Studnicky of Brand Method

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bethany Studnicky.

Hi Bethany, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My career in branding originated from a dual interest in marketing and contemporary arts. In high school, I dedicated my time to both intensive training in visual arts and our mock business club, DECA. I knew I wanted to do something creative with my future but thought that I would inevitably have to choose between being an artist or working in marketing.

In 2014, I began studying art history and visual culture at Emory University. At the time, I was a young but talented artist focused on abstract visual storytelling- but I had no experience in graphic design. I relied heavily on the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) to help me scan and edit photos of my artwork and produce advertisements for my shows. After a few lengthy visits, the center director offered me an opportunity that changed my life: instead of having the center’s staff edit my work for me, they offered me a job, and the chance to learn the programs and practices for myself.

I picked up graphic design tools quickly and fell in love with these new methods of creation. But, after a few internships in graphic design and digital media, I realized that I was not passionate about simply manifesting prescribed designs- I wanted to be a part of the strategic process. Over the past six years, I have worked with various start-ups in marketing roles. In each organization, I gravitated towards the business’s identity management. I solved problems in our management structures, helped align our services and programs with our goals, and refined our visual identity to give our customers a more genuine experience. The projects were voluntary and never seemed to be a top priority, but the positive impact these projects had on each business was immeasurable. After seeing what refining our brand identity could accomplish, I was hooked.

In my earlier roles, I did not realize that each extra project I took on was training me to identify and optimize branding opportunities. I practiced this thoroughly in my role as Marketing Director of Imurj, an interdisciplinary arts venue in downtown Raleigh. With Imurj, I planned and executed a full brand revitalization, including optimizing our management structure, reevaluating our public outreach, refining our visual identity, and revamping our event and bar services. Unfortunately, Imurj closed down due to Covid before the final product was revealed. I was left unemployed and thinking about my next move.

Knowing what passion and purpose this project brought to my life, I chose not to apply for more marketing roles but to take a risk and open a branding agency, Brand Method, whose’ sole purpose is to help small business optimize their brand identity. Brand Method brings together all of my skills in marketing, visual arts, and graphic design. I truly believe this is what I was meant to do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Of course not. My personal and professional lives have thrown plenty of curveballs my way over the past eight years. I have had to experience lots of jobs, relationships, and places that weren’t right for me before finding the ones that are. I have lost friends and lost myself along the way.

My greatest challenge, however, has been in defining what success looks like to me. Coming from a high-achieving hometown and “competing” with high-achieving siblings, I have always felt a need to perform at my absolute best. Any type-A achiever knows that comparisons and the fear of failure are some of the hardest challenges to face.

I work daily to remind myself that other people’s successes have no bearing on my own success, that every type of accomplishment isn’t necessarily meant for me; and that my success can and will look different from my family, friends, and colleagues. In the end, I am my own greatest challenge, and my greatest champion.

As you know, we’re big fans of Brand Method. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
As a branding specialist, I am known for my painstakingly thorough, comprehensive approach to brand identity. Through Brand Method, I help newly founded and long-established businesses assess and optimize their brand positioning. In this process, I help to instill good marketing hygiene by walking through their brand strategy from the ground up. Together, my clients and I analyze their current marketing practices against their future marketing objectives, identify opportunities for improved communication, and create the materials needed to present a cohesive, impactful brand identity across all platforms.

My projects can take a little longer compared to other brand designers because I take time to listen, never skimp on the strategy phase, and craft brand elements by hand. My projects result in a distinctly unique product that withstands the test of time.

What’s next?
In my first year of business, I have seen exceptional growth. With this growth, I hope to offer my services specifically to businesses that align with my overall mission: to build a community we all want to live in one small business at a time.

My primary goal for the next year is to work with and support a more diverse array of business owners that are representative of our vibrant communities. I seek to collaborate specifically with “companies that care,” meaning businesses that are cognizant of the power they hold within a community and use that power to benefit the community through inclusivity, great jobs, quality service, and sustainable practices. By helping socially-minded small businesses flourish, we are feeding an ecosystem of improved quality of life for all.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Brand photography by Rose Trail Images (@rosetrailimages)

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