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Interview with Kendra Todd

January 15th, 2006

LogoBee speaks with Apprentice winner Kendra Todd and My House real estate partner Charles Andrews about their experience designing the My House logo, 

Kendra Todd Interview

winning the LogoBee:"As you know, LogoBee is an online logo design firm and there is often a bit of a trust issue for some customers with respect to purchasing products or services online. Would you say that you are generally quite comfortable purchasing products and services online?" Charles: "I'm fifty-fifty I guess. I'm skeptical at times." LogoBee: "Was there something in particular about our website that reassured you that you could trust our company?"Charles: "I really did a lot of research. Your site is very professional. It just had a good, warm feel to it and you know, everybody, especially down here where we live, this is a big entrepreneurial capital. Everybody's got somebody who does logos and corporate imaging and I had actually went to a recommendation first. We spent a lot more money and I wasn't happy with our final product. And right before we were about to go to print with this new stuff, I was just sitting there one night, and realized that I don't feel good aboutthis logo. And so I searched around the internet, I found your website and I just came across a couple of really cool [logos]. There was one logo that looked like a flying atom. Expediant, or something like that. It just felt like a nice corporate brand. So I fell in love with some of the designs [you had] already done. Ann-Marie was incredible and was so helpful. She went the extra mile for us. It couldn't have been a better experience, honestly. I mean, we spend a lot of money on marketing materials and our logo goes out on stuff-we've had hats made, real good stuff. That logo is the face of our company. Sometimes when we do open house parties, we even do a My House ice sculpture. The House Production logo we did with you guys was more fun, that's not really our corporate image, most clients never see that one. It's a cool, hip, fun one. Revenue, the bread and butter, comes from My House and mutual lending. But the My House logo I thought was really cool. Clean. I remember when they sent the first My House one with different colours and this and that and I was like 'Boom! That's it!' I loved it right off the bat. I could just see it on the side of a big building. I loved it." LogoBee: "Why don't you tell me a little bit about My House. How did you guys start up and what exactly is it that you do in terms of real estate marketing?" Charles: "We sell below market-value condos to the nation. And we're driven all by investors and second home buyers." LogoBee: "When you say below market-value, you mean condos that are less expensive than the average condo due to volume?" Charles: "Yes, our projects are typically anywhere from 200 to 600 units in each project. We take the initial 40 to 50 people in each project. Before it's open to the general public. And the prices go up after we've sold our units." LogoBee: "That sounds really exciting." Charles: "It's fun." LogoBee: "As real estate marketing experts, obviously you both know a lot about corporate identity and branding. From a branding perspective, what were you looking to project with your logo design from My House?" Kendra: "We wanted to project something simple and recognizable that could become like an icon one day, [like the] singular logo or the Mc Donald's arches. We just wanted to create a symbol, for real estate that was easy to recognize. So we came up with the name My House and then we wanted a logo that just was very simple and easy and recognizable and I believe that we successfully achieved that. We take the brand all over the nation." Charles: "I really wanted not to be seen as another silly real estate company. [I wanted people to] look at our logo and know that we are a multi-successful corporation." LogoBee: "What do you think a logo should achieve for a company in terms of image and branding?" Kendra: "A logo should have the style and the color combination that evokes the personality of the company and also attracts the clientele that the company is trying to target." LogoBee: "How would you say that this new image affected your business? Have you had a good response to the logo design and the My House brand as a whole?" Kendra: "Absolutely, we've had tremendous response from all of our clients from our logo. We get compliments all of the time. It accomplished exactly what we set out to do." LogoBee: "So you were happy with the overall design process?" Charles: "I was overwhelmed by the logo design process and the level of sophistication of the LogoBee team." LogoBee: "When it comes to graphic design, a lot of businesses are under the impression that you need to spend a lot of money, thousands of dollars in some cases, to get a professionally designed logo. Do you find that the logo you got from LogoBee was a good value for what you received?" Kendra: "It was a great value for what we received." LogoBee: "Kendra, can you share with me what your experience was like on the Apprentice?" Kendra: "It was a personally challenging experience. Everyday I came face to face with my own limitations. I had to find out what I was made of, I tested my own willpower, my own stamina in business and on a physical level as well because there was very little sleep, there was very little privacy. And we had to constantly be on our creative toes. And we were thrown into tasks with very tight deadlines in industries that we had no prior knowledge of or exposure to. I did come to realize that there are some formulas for success in business that you can apply across the board. And I guess as far as marketing goes, for a company, you know I realized that you always have to listen to the customer."LogoBee: "Yes, and what they want, and what their specifications are." Kendra: "And you deliver it. You don't try to guess or figure it out on your own. You just go straight to them with focus groups, create marketing materials that really target what the client is looking for, final product. And if you can fulfill their need, then you'll have a successful company." LogoBee:"From watching the show, many of the tasks that you were assigned also involved a great deal of teamwork and strategy, and marketing the right corporate image as you were saying. Did you find that projecting the right personal image played a role in winning the season as well?" Kendra: "Yeah, I would agree with that." LogoBee: "How so? What did you think they were looking for or what sort of qualities are important when it comes to the sort of tasks that you guys were doing? What image were you trying to project in order to win the season?" Kendra: "I was just myself. I think that a successful entrepreneur is someone who has character, integrity, they work hard, they are a good team player, they give credit where credit is due, and they are able to inspire their teammates into action. I think all of that is important. You also have to think outside the box, you have to be creative. And you have to have passion, you really have to have passion. Passion breeds success." LogoBee: "Last I heard you were working on Trump's National Golf Club in New York and the Palm Beach Mansion Project as well. Are you still continuing to work on those in some capacity or are you working on something else with him?" Kendra: "I'm working on the estate home on Palm Beach Island in Florida." LogoBee: "How is that going for you? How would you say working with Trump has contributed to your own learning and professional development?"Kendra: "Well, you know my business is real estate and he's one of the most brilliant real estate entrepreneurs of our time. I've learned a tremendous amount of real estate related lessons just by watching, by observing Mr. Trump do business. He's an incredible negotiator. I just learned a lot by how he negotiates deals and Mr.Trump's decision-making process throughout this renovation and sales process of this piece of real estate. I've learned so much invaluable information on how he approaches projects and how he perceives the value." LogoBee: "Great, well that sounds like you really gained a lot from being around him and watching what he's been up to. Besides My House, I understand that you both have a regular radio show. How did Agent 53 start and what kind of issues and discussions do you have on the air?" Charles: "On the radio show, we talk about real estate. And real estate can be boring. Even to us, we live and breathe and love it everyday. And so I just decided to stylize the show a little bit more, and name [Kendra] Special Agent 53. The name came [from] that old character Agent 99, you know, the detective. And then we just made it more fun like "Hey Agent 53, where you at, are you at the pool sipping on lemonade?" And people will email you, "What's Agent 53 wearing?" and this and that and it was always just fun. Our radio show is the number one Arbitron radio show in Florida. So we take the callers and joke [with them] and even the callers that are like furious about something, we'll take [them], and just have fun with it. Clear Channel's our partner and they've been great." LogoBee: "How often does the show air?" Charles: "We go live, every Sunday from 1-2 pm Eastern. And then Clear Channel [replays] it all the time during the week." LogoBee: "I really appreciate you both taking the time out of your busy schedule to accommodate this you've been really wonderful and give us lots of really positive feedback.Charles: "Yeah, well I believe in you guys. So it's easy." Kendra: "I've really enjoyed working with LogoBee and you know, anything I can do for you guys."


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