October 17, 2013

A Word With the Boss: Arielle Walrath's getting a reputation for astute branding

She runs Might & Main in Portland, a business marketing firm that prides itself on resourcefulness

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Arielle Walrath runs Might & Main, a business branding and design firm that recently won a marketing award.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

Q: Have you worked for larger companies?

A: It was very exciting for us to work with Stonyfield Farm. They’re a huge national company, we were supporting their in-house marketing team and it was great to get that kind of exposure. We worked on the website for Thos. Moser Contract, their institutional furniture division, and we’re always excited about working with an iconic Maine company.

Even before Eventide, we thought we’d like to be doing restaurant work, and that’s turned into five or six clients now. We were working for White Rock Distillery and when they got purchased by Jim Beam (Beam Inc. bought the Pinnacle vodka and Calico Jack rum brands from White Rock in April 2012), we transitioned into working for them, on their Calico Jack rum. That was when Calico Jack was a White Rock product designed to compete with a Beam product, and we worked with them on how to treat it differently and redesigned the bottle. Now we do largely digital work with their social media products and designed a website for them.

Q: Do you take on small projects or focus solely on more wide-ranging branding work?

A: We’ve discouraged the one-off projects because our process is dependent on research and strategy. For us to design one thing doesn’t make sense. When we first started, people would come and say, “Oh, I just want a business card or a brochure or a website,” but now most people who come to us are looking for branding for the whole thing.

Q: Why do you like working for restaurants?

A: We love good food, but it’s also exciting to work on something that exists in a physical space. Everything in there is designed to create a special experience. Menus are fun and gift cards are fun, but anything where we can see our work exist in tangible form is really exciting. Years ago I did something for Coffee by Design and worked on their cups. To see people walking around with those cups is fun, to know I had something to do with that design. It’s designer’s ego. I like to think that design can make the world more beautiful and usable.

Q: What’s one brand you look at and say, “I wish I could take credit for that?”

A: The obvious answer is Apple. People may grumble about their products sometimes, but there’s something about the packaging and the way the product is presented, it creates great brand loyalty. It’s not so much the logo or the name that has that inherent draw, it’s the secondary elements – the materials, the design of the products themselves. There’s an elegant simplicity to it, the white materials, the glossy metal and crisp edges.

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