Branding is an extremely powerful, but unfortunately often overlooked, part of building a business. Tatiana Dumitru is well aware of this and has grown her PreTee Creative business with the sole mission of helping businesses connect with their customers on a deeper level.
Tatiana is passionate about how branding can affect customer attitudes towards a business. His expertise in creating branding elements, from slogans to logos, trade names and more, has helped a number of businesses improve their overall appearance and, through that success, earn.
Thanks for talking to us about Tatiana, can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
Thanks for this opportunity! I am Tatiana Dumitru and I am a brand specialist. I run an agency in Orange County, California, and I’m also a Leadership Network Writer for Entrepreneur.com.
I was born and raised in Romania, a country in south-eastern Europe. There, I worked as an accountant… and although I loved it (I’ve always been good at numbers!), I always dreamed of having a creative career. For years, I have dreamed of making a living doing something that would allow me to think outside the box.
In 2012, I moved to California, where I currently live with my husband and two daughters. In addition to branding and design, I am passionate about coffee, tacos and Italian cuisine. And my idea of a perfect weekend involves a lot of time at the beach.
How did you get interested in starting your own branding business?
After moving to the United States and starting my family, I felt like I was in a rut so instead of just dreaming about a creative career, I decided to take action.
I’ve always been drawn to smart design and smart ideas. My first idea was to showcase my creativity with t-shirt designs, so I opened an Etsy store and started selling custom t-shirts. Although I have never been profitable, this experience has shown me all the hard work it takes to start a business. I quickly realized how bumpy and winding the road to entrepreneurship is, but instead of scaring me, it energized me.
A year after launching the Etsy store, I decided to become a freelance brand specialist. I really liked making t-shirts with catchy slogans and witty sayings, so I wanted to see if I could scale this skill up. I joined a freelance platform to find a job, and also reached out to friends and business owners to see if they needed any help.
I have found great success in helping clients come up with memorable brand names or clever slogans. This momentum encouraged me to continue and seriously pursue my creative dream. I started to educate myself on branding, watch webinars and read as much as possible. Although it was a ton of work, I didn’t feel like it because I enjoyed progressing to make my dream come true. In 2019, I decided to create my own branding agency. I kept the name I used for my t-shirt business, PreTee Creative, to constantly remind myself of how I started. Since launching my agency, I have had the opportunity to work with clients of all sizes, including large companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter and Gamble, and The Motley Fool.
What services do you offer at PreTee Creative?
We specialize in branding, branding and visual identity. We help clients develop their stories so that they can connect with potential clients in a unique and memorable way. My goal is to help * my * clients create lasting relationships with * their * clients, through a one-of-a-kind brand experience.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or refreshing an existing brand, selling a product or promoting a service, we make it a brand experience.
Can you tell us about your corporate branding process? What can customers expect?
The first thing I do is set up a call with the client so that I can have a full understanding of the project – as well as their vision and personality. I think every business owner has a spark of an idea, but they don’t necessarily know how to make it happen. So my goal is to take that spark and turn it into reality. I try to look beyond their service or product to uncover a story and emotions – I use them to build relationships with customers.
Most importantly, I strive to create the best experience for clients when working with me. We all know that good experiences facilitate deeper connections, inspire audiences, and ultimately deliver results. I always work with my clients until they are happy with the finished product, regardless of the number of revisions. This is just one of the reasons I have a 100% customer satisfaction rate.
How important is it for a business to have a good brand image?
When we say branding people tend to think of a nice name in great packaging… but it goes beyond that.
Branding is the whole experience. Not only what people see (the name, logo, and visuals), but also the feeling customers develop when they interact with your brand. Simply put, products can be copied, but big brands can’t.
Branding is essential for any business because it can be the difference between having a great product and having an impact in the market. Branding can determine whether people choose you over someone else who provides the same product or service.
I think the recipe for developing a great brand is through strategy, cohesion and creativity. A good brand helps people understand what your business is and why it exists, and. People may forget what you are saying, but the way you make them feel will stay with them forever.
Good branding builds loyalty and recognition – once people start to recognize your brand and enjoy the experience of your branding, they come back for more.
What effect can branding have on a customer’s attitude towards a business?
As I mentioned above, branding is about the experience created around a product or service. Branding is emotional – when someone sees or thinks about your brand, they must feel something. And based on those emotions, they’ll decide if they want to interact with your business again. I have had a lot of repeat customers and referrals, not only because of the results I delivered, but because of the experience I provided.
A brand that meets and even exceeds expectations will always generate loyalty. Having a cohesive brand and a strong brand identity builds trust because it shows that you have thought through and cared for every facet of your business.
What makes PreTee Creative’s branding strategies unique?
We keep people at the center of everything we do because our customers are the main characters. We understand that beyond creating an eye-catching brand name and smart visual identity, it’s the experience we provide that makes us successful.
My process is also unique. I connect with my clients on an emotional level and bring their vision to life by elevating their idea and infusing it with my creativity.
Finally, what basic advice would you give to someone looking to improve their company’s branding?
It’s actually one of the things I do at PreTee Creative, hence the tagline: “Feeling The Gaps”. I look at what is missing in a brand and think about what could be improved, then I fill in those gaps.
Strategy is fundamental and many people rush to come up with a name or design a logo. But how can you create them effectively if you don’t have a strategy, if you don’t know who your ideal customer is, or how you want your business to be perceived?
So I would suggest developing a cohesive branding strategy – and if you already have one, take a closer look at each element to make sure it still matches your brand’s reach, vision, and personality. For example, if your brand name is too specific and you have expanded your product or service line, you might want to consider changing your name to a more generic name. Make sure the tagline always captures the essence of your business and don’t be afraid to keep your brand identity up to date.
Thank you Tatiana for your time!