Rediscovering the brutal playfulness of the Pixie brand

Over the past year we’ve done a bunch of things as we steer Brutal Pixie in the right direction. But what it’s meant is that we lost our brutal playfulness. And losing that was hard. So we’re bringing it back.

You’ve probably noticed that our gorgeous pixie isn’t visible on our website. That was a change that sparked a whole lot of subtle changes around the Brutal Pixie space. We were suddenly subdued, moving into a slightly different space, finding our footing.

But actually, losing the Pixie off our website was the worst thing we’ve done so far. It quietly put us into a different box. A box that everyone else is in. And yet, our pixie is our most-​loved thing: She is memorable, dramatic, in-​your-​face, and fun.

Being normal is brutal… so we’re putting a stop to it

Over the past year what we’ve found is that we’ve been absorbed into the normal way of things. At meetings we’d go corporately dressed without making much of a splash. We stopped being super fun. The result was that things became a drag. As the founder and Director I stopped relating well to the business. I started finding problems with it. The last six months have been a real battle to re-​identify, get moving in the right direction, and keep the buzz going.

It’s why collaborating with fabulous folk like Rai Projects and Good Things Marketing has been really good for us.

Recently, Rai Projects and Brutal Pixie started working closer together. And in the inspire > be inspired > inspire loop that this created, a whole lot of realisations have happened.

The first one is that our Pixie is like Iron Maiden’s Eddie. The brand of Iron Maiden as a band is really tied into Eddie. Pegged as a ‘mascot’, you can’t think about this band without thinking about Eddie.

Such is our pixie. We find that people know about our Pixie before they meet us! It’s caused people to get excited enough to request meetings just because the name resonates with them. And as the director of Brutal Pixie, with a history in the metal music industry, I can see that the brutality in our branding not only has a meaningful history — but it also has a meaningful application.

Strategic work isn’t easy. It’s like having a doctor poke at your broken arm and asking does that hurt? It’s brutal — and so are we (when we need to be). So we’ve taken this idea on board and built it into our products at first sight.

The realisation hit when it was least expected

So when I was at Iron Maiden’s Book of Souls show this week here in Adelaide, the realisation of what I’d done to my company’s branding hit me like a lightning bolt. The very next morning, I was told by a potential contractor that the reason he was attracted to us was because you are unlike everyone else in the space.

I’m proud of the fact that I am not a usual person, and that my company is not a usual company, with a usual name. And if business isn’t fun, then what’s the point? We have to make money and help other people — that’s a given — but if it’s not fun? That’s like tying yourself to a tree just out of reach of a glass of water.

That day, I wore an Eddie shirt to a business lunch. Sure, it’s girly and sparkles, but the significance to me of doing this was unbeatable. There will be more of it.

Brutal AND feminine. This is an image from snapchat. The caption says, "Working in a cafe ahead of a business lunch. Yes, that's a Maiden shirt."
Me in an Iron Maiden shirt ahead of a business lunch.

What is the outcome of all this?

It’s really coming back to the honesty of the Pixie brand. Our company name makes people smile. Our pixie causes people to share our cards. And the branding is the perfect first-​stage filter. If you don’t like it, we probably won’t work well together. That’s ok, too! It’s important that potential clients can self-​select, can qualify us before we even talk to them.

Ultimately, not being true to the brand is not being authentic. So you can expect to see Brutal Pixie front and centre in the coming six to twelve months, as we come back around from this experiment knowing that we truly know who we are.

In fact, you’re going to start seeing the Pixie in a bunch of ways as soon as some key deliveries are made. For details of that you will just have to wait!

If this resonates with you, please become friends with us on Snapchat (brutalpixie); follow us on Twitter; and see if our products are right for you.

3 thoughts on “Rediscovering the brutal playfulness of the Pixie brand

  1. A favorite moment was after telling my mother about your services, and then one day when her internal communications team were struggling, I got this short email from her saying
    “can we brutal pixie it?”

  2. You’re doing the right thing. Your brand needs to reflect the true character of your business.

    One thing to watch for though is being different for difference sake. Embed the Pixie in the story of your business, in the processes and the language that you use. (you do appear to be doing this well from an outside perspective.)

    1. Thanks, Nic. That’s great feedback. Yes, you’re right about the difference for difference’s sake. That’s one thing we’re quite mindful of, because ultimately that’s also an inauthentic way of dealing with your branding. Hopefully having fun with our brand will reflect us the way we truly are. 🙂

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