Ramen Squad: A Brand That Found Its Voice Through Story and Custom Merchandise

Posted by Melissa Kovach on Apr 22, 2019 1:00:14 PM
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One of our clients, Ramen Squad, a boutique dog hiking and boarding service based in Santa Cruz, Calif., was sniffing around for quality custom merchandise and logo development for the young business when they found Anthem Branding. 

Michelle Santos, Founder at Ramen Squad for Anthem Branding

A former corporate attorney, founder Michelle Santos ditched the 9-5 and started her own playful, creative, and smart brand — Ramen Squad — in pursuit of her passion.

“I fell in love with working with dogs while managing some behavior issues with our first dog, Nacho,” Santos told us. “I became more and more obsessed with learning about how to use positive rewards to shape dog behavior.” 

Couple the pup love with Santos’ love for the great outdoors and the desire to promote positive training techniques, and her idea for Ramen Squad was born.

The challenge

Ramen Squad came to us seeking to build a unique and authentic brand identity to help establish the pup-centered business as a contemporary and trustworthy pet caregiver.

Being a budding business, Ramen Squad wanted to successfully position themselves in the marketplace as a fun-loving and adventurous pet care company — complete with a unique and captivating look and feel.

Our solution

“Not only did we create a friendly and approachable logo toolkit for the company, but we also crafted a collection of fun, playful supporting brand graphics that expand on the primary mark and include all sorts of unique arrangements and brand messaging to help bring the brand to life,” says Anthem’s Brand Strategist Ellen Macy.

Brand identity

Rooted in the story of how Ramen Squad came to be, we developed a brand identity that symbolically combines the values and voice of the brand with the style of its leading mascot, Ramen, Santos’ dog. 

“Ramen (the dog) is blonde with a yellow tinge (like the noodles) and she wiggles her entire body when she is excited, so she moves like a noodle, too,” says Santos.

Primary logo development for Ramen Squad by Anthem Branding

Ramen Squad primary logo by Anthem Branding

Ramen Squad brand toolkit by Anthem Branding

Ramen Squad brand toolkit by Anthem Branding 

Additional messaging for Ramen Squad by Anthem Branding

Additional messaging for Ramen Squad by Anthem Branding 

“I love that Anthem offers both branding and merchandise because it makes for a seamless experience from developing a brand to seeing the Ramen Squad brand come to life,” says Santos.

Custom merchandise fit for dogs and their humans

We then used the branding foundation and supporting graphics to create a collection of branded custom merchandise to work as a fun extension of the brand. 

“We want people to be able to recognize our Squad when they see us, so some of the merch will be used for our team,” says Santos. “We also want to thank our friends and clients for referrals and Squad loyalty, so we are working on items that will help us show our gratitude.”

When it came to finding great items that tangibly carry the brand voice of Ramen Squad through custom merchandise, we went after accessories fit for any adventure such as water bottles, bandanas, and custom headwear.

The design of the merch echoes the brand’s aesthetic characteristics such as fun, approachable, and friendly.

The Squad will soon be outfitted with water bottles, a custom trucker hat, a dye-sublimated bandana, and more! Here is a sneak peek: 

Custom branded bandana for Ramen Squad by Anthem Branding

Custom branded water bottles for Ramen Squad by Anthem Branding

Custom branded water bottles and a dye-sublimated bandana for Ramen Squad by Anthem Branding 

Custom headwear for Ramen Squad by Anthem Branding

Custom headwear for Ramen Squad by Anthem Branding. Picture from the Ramen Squad Instagram

The results

Ramen Squad has hit the ground running with puppy and adult dog clients reporting for adventure — benefiting from the added physical activity and socialization.

Logo design for Ramen Squad by Anthem Branding

The complete Anthem wheelhouse of capabilities

When clients like Ramen Squad work with Anthem from start to finish to not only craft an impactful visual identity but also develop brand messaging and marketing communication — extending the brand into apparel and merchandise — they see a cohesive result.

It’s the combination of these forces that helps thoughtful brands tell an authentic story which successfully builds a deeper customer connection. 

Our brand design and production expertise inform every point of the creative process, so everything connects from concept to delivery. 

Topics: Design, Brand Strategy, Custom Merchandise, Custom Headwear, Company Merchandise, Logo, Brand Design, Client Highlight, Branded Merchandise