Interview with Endrea Kosven
find your company’s voice. Whether you’re just starting your small business or ready to take it to the next level, their specialized full service boutique marketing services can help shape the image and identity of your brand.
EDK & Company, based in Los Angeles, is a full-service boutique marketing communications, copywriting, and social media agency that specializes in working with small businesses. From fashion and interior design to restaurants and hotels, they work across a wide number of industries.
Hi Endrea! Could you please introduce your work with EDK And Company and what led to your founding the company?
So I started EDK on a wing and a prayer, no financial backing. I really had been working in a number of marketing roles in the corporate world for a while, but had always wanted to have my own business. My father had runs an automotive business and the entrepreneurial thing was always there, but I always had a creative bent from my mother's side, so I wanted to really blend the two together and start something that I thought could make a difference in the business world. I always love working with small business, and so I decided to just get started: I joined a few freelance websites, started getting projects and it really took off from there. Started as a one-man shop, and now I have a small team of independent freelancers that help with copywriting, graphic design, website development and social media marketing, and we've been really able to grow our business here in Los Angeles area. I have clients across the country and around the world, which is great with the internet now, you can reach people in places you never never thought you could reach back in the day! So here I am, been doing this for, gosh, going probably about 10 years now and it's been really great. It's been a great way to really make a difference. I work with non-profits, tier design companies, food and beverage, really - all industries - and it's really great because I'm able to use the versatility of the skill sets of my team to help companies make a difference in their marketing and get their message across, something that can be a challenge for small businesses. So that's what we've been able to do.
What are some of the main challenges faced by small businesses looking to make their brand stand out?
I think one of the biggest challenges for small business is setting themselves apart in their space - whether they have 10,000 competitors or 30 competitors - you really need to have a unique differentiator that sets you apart and communicates to your client base why the clients need to buy from you, or why they need to work with you. This is, definitely as a small business, I don't think is given enough thought - they just want to sell service or a product. But as a small business, there's a reason that - you're a business! - and there is something that you uniquely offer to your clients or customers that needs to be communicated through effective marketing. And I think setting yourselves apart as a brand, having that brand differentiator, is going to be critical - and is critical - in being a successful company and getting your product out there and making money! So I think this is definitely one the biggest challenges for small businesses and needs to be addressed, and can certainly be addressed through understanding the effective ways of marketing, and the different types of things that you can do to stand out in your niche, in your industry.
How has EDK And Company's clientele changed or shifted since the company was first founded back in 2009?
So when EDK first started we received a lot of requests for projects: specific projects such as content writing for websites, maybe some PR consulting, media relations consulting or some graphic design requests, such as a new logo or a new website. But that has really evolved since we started in 2009, because of the fact that, really, to be successful in marketing, you need to be reaching all touch points of your customer. So that could be whether you're in the digital space and you need to reach your customer through social media; or you have a marketing materials that you need to hand out at a trade show. So our services have really become more comprehensive, and really full-service. So we may offer a client now: social media marketing, PR consulting and website development - whereas before it would just be more of a per-project basis. So really, the client has become more sophisticated in that sense, and learned that it's important to really hit all touch points of your customer to be successful and effective in your marketing approach. And really our business has grown quite a bit from knowing and understanding that.
How has the rise of social media marketing and digital branding affected your work?
The rise of social media marketing has really helped our business grow quite a bit, especially the last ten years. Being in the digital marketing space, it really is important to - in order to be deemed relevant - you need to be online and need to be on social media. Regardless the platform you choose - whether that's Instagram or Facebook- you really need to be on there to be relevant and be seen in your business. Frankly, the digital space is a very competitive, very competitive world. And if you're not found, and don't have a professional image, then you're losing out. So that's where we have helped our clients, and really, that the rise of social media marketing in relation to small businesses and how they're existing out there is really what we do to help serve our clients and has contributed to, really, the growth of our company. Social media marketing is huge, and we help our clients by doing, creating their presence professionally and strategically. It really is a blend of an art and a science, and we help our clients achieve that in a smart strategic way. But by also, at the same time, using outside-the-box approaches: being very creative and using different messages to stand out in the marketplace.
What's next for your work with EDK And Company? What are the main projects, partnerships, and services you'll be focusing on in the next year?
So what's next for EDK? We are looking to the future and we really think that future is being plant-based. A lot of companies are going more in that direction, with health concerns and more welfare concerns and the environment. We're really looking to work with clients that see this and have that progressive mindset. There are a lot of new food companies that are going more plant-based, and I think this is really the future for the world. And so we're seeking to work with clients that are in the plant-based industry whether that's foods; a lot of a beauty and apparel companies are going in that direction as well. So that is something that we are, here at EDK, is something we're really excited about, because again, we think the future is plant-based - and there are many reasons for that. So a lot more things are coming out in the media about that - you see a lot of partnerships with these big alternative meat companies working with major brands and trying to get that message out there, and that's something that we're seeking to do here with our agency.