Reno’s Bonsai Blue Garden Market Gets A Comprehensive Branding Plan


“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

– Seth Godin

Most business professionals will argue that branding is important for any successful business, but we’re here to argue that it takes more than that if you want to develop a thriving, long-lasting, booming business. What we’re talking about, comprehensive branding.

What is comprehensive branding? The way we think of it is this: from top to bottom, corner to corner of your business, every little bit is on-brand, strategized, and, most importantly, cohesive. From a web page’s call to action to the minute details of a logo to the colors, fonts, and tone a brand uses matters and directly plays into its cohesiveness.

The benefits a comprehensive and cohesive brand has to offer are worth it, let us tell you:

  1. Comprehensive branding creates trust with customers. 
  2. People inside and outside of the brand will know what to expect.
  3. Cohesiveness creates a strong foundation for a business to stand and build upon.
  4. A business never has to question what’s appropriate for the brand. Guidelines are set for every aspect, making it easier to make decisions and move forward in the right direction.


A Comprehensive Brand Case Study: Bonsai Blue Garden Market

Looking back on the start of 2020, Dayton Valley Turf owner and long-time Nevada farmer, Cary Yamamoto, came to the Bareknuckle team with a sparking idea for the northern Nevada area. Having worked on his Nevada family farm, Yamamoto Farms, for his entire life and then running a successful turf and landscaping business for years, Yamamoto thought it was time to offer up his green thumb knowledge (and thriving plants) to gardeners and growers in the Reno area.

The idea was to transform part of the existing Dayton Valley Turf lot into a beautifully landscaped garden where market vendors could come and sell their creations, families could spend their afternoon trying samples and learning about growing gardens themselves, and Yamamoto and his team could sell their thriving plant starts for local gardeners to take home and plant themselves. 

What Cary Yamamoto needed was a plan to pull his gardening and market ideas together alongside his existing businesses, Dayton Valley Turf and Yamamoto Farms–he needed comprehensive branding.


Getting Into a Client’s Head With an Initial Interview and Site Tour

As the Bareknuckle team took on the project, we started out (as we always do) with an extensive interview with Yamamoto and his team and, in this case, a site tour to really get a sense of the ideas they had in mind. 

Initial interviews consist of a conversation between our team and the client’s where we get down deep into the details, ask the questions to get the answers we need to develop a plan, and really try to get into the client’s head about where they are and where they’re going with their brilliant business idea.

From there, we’re able to take all of that necessary and valuable information from the client and pull out what we believe shines the brightest, alongside doing competitor research to get the best idea of the market that we’ll be working in.


The Brand Naming Strategy

While Yamamoto had every detail planned out for how he envisioned his new business, he handed over the task of coming up with the perfect brand name to the Bareknuckle team.

Brand naming is more than finding a catchy, cool name. Naming a brand takes thought, strategy (some would say), and back and forth consideration. A name is likely the very first thing, along with the logo, so it must make an impression, tell a story, and hold meaning.

When it comes to naming a brand here at Bareknuckle, we first come up with a list of criteria that the name must fit. This criteria generally tells the theme or the story of the business and gives us a clear pathway for the direction we’re heading with a brand name. 

We treated Yamamoto’s brand naming strategy this same way. The criteria we developed brought us to the name Bonsai Blue which gave a nod to the Asian-style farming Yamamoto Farms has done for decades, hinted at the special attention and care bonsai plants require to thrive, and ‘bonsai’ held meaning for the calm and relaxing environment Bonsai Blue would offer their customers.


Brand Messaging

Once the name was defined, Bonsai Blue had to consistently put out messaging that would attract the people they were looking for, families and gardeners of the northern Nevada area. All in the messaging bible, what we call The Code, we had to develop a tone that would resonate with their audience, a tone that was playful, energetic, and casual. This tone was then translated into the themes and messaging we crafted for the brand.

Next came the messaging strategy and one of the biggest challenges we faced with the Bonsai Blue, making sure their messaging and tone aligned with their other two sister brands, Dayton Valley Turf and Yamamoto Farms. Making the decision to translate Bonsai Blue as the hub for Dayton Valley Turf’s premium blend of grass and the only retailer of Yamamoto Farms farm fresh produce and kitchen fusion products, the brands worked hand in hand and the messaging aligned well.

After fleshing out themes and ready-to-use sample messages, Bonsai Blue’s messaging was ready to move forward and gave a great foundation for the next step of the comprehensive branding process–the visuals.


Visual Brand Components

Visual branding is more than logo design, in fact it’s the very last thing we do when it comes to visual branding here at Bareknuckle. 

First comes all the components that fit the brand, based on what was defined in The Code. These components include brand colors, fonts for the logo, print, and website, and visual elements that help to tell the comprehensive brand story. 

comprehensive branding

Then comes logo development, created based upon all the brand components already defined. Bonsai Blue’s final logo did a great job telling their brand story with elements like:

  • The logo had a playful, casual, family-friendly feel that aligned with the tone of the brand.
  • A circular shape and tilt of the logo gave the brand a sense of motion and action, the sense that you have getting dirt under your fingers and making your own home garden.
  • The pop of color in the garden instruments accented the energy and the joy that comes from working in a home garden.

And the lines beneath the truck were nod to Dayton Valley Turf, consecutive rows of sod.


Marketing Collateral

After developing a clear and cohesive brand for Bonsai Blue, it was time to get their marketing collateral going to show off the fun, playful brand we had created. The marketing collateral needed by the Bonsai Blue team was as follows:

  • Business cards
  • Signage for the lot
  • Product labels for their Farm-Fresh Fusion products
  • And a banner announcing their Friday Farmers Markets

Each piece of marketing collateral was strategized by the Bareknuckle team, copy, call to actions, design elements, and all. It was important that each piece played off the comprehensive brand and was consistent so that no matter what or where a new potential customer came across Bonsai Blue, they got the whole story.

comprehensive branding

comprehensive branding


Website Design and Copy

And the final piece of this comprehensive brand, a website to tie it all together and represent the entirety of the brand online. 

From website copy to web design, the Bareknuckle team strategized the necessary pages for the Bonsai Blue website and the purpose of each. It was essential that the crucial and storytelling pieces of the brand were widely represented across every page of the website. 

From homepage to product page to the list of every Farmers Market Bonsai Blue would be hosting during the summer of 2020, the Bonsai Blue website was finalized, one of a kind, and ready for audience eyes.

comprehensive branding


Comprehensive Branding by the Bareknuckle Crew

When it comes to the best team in the biz for comprehensive branding, we’re your crew. If you want your business to thrive and need a consistent, cohesive brand from top to bottom, give us a call. We’ll talk free for 15 minutes and get to know what it is you’re all about. Schedule a call today.