Bernie and I decided early on that the hot sauce brand would be somehow automotive-themed. After 28 years spent in the global automotive industry with brands like Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, and Volvo, it's what I know. Once the car industry gets into your blood it's impossible to purge. You walk down the street looking at the cars, hoping to perhaps spot something interesting parked there. It becomes instinctive.
Squeezing 28 years of global automotive sales and marketing experience into a 5 oz bottle.
When Bernie and I drive together, it's in the left lane. Okay, so I have a heavy foot and I like the feeling of passing slower traffic in the right lane. Born in Germany, I have early memories of driving with my grandfather on the Autobahn, listening to him curse at slow drivers in the passing lane. It seems that's a genetic thing.
Driving style became a theme and we debated a number of different company names including Passing Lane Pepper Company, 6-Speed Salsa Company, and more. But Left Lane Pepper Company stuck. It felt right. It rolls off the tongue easily and, best of all, it unabashedly describes where and how we drive.
It arrived in a dream.
A brand name will get you so far but how do you visualize it? The company needed a logo, a graphic means to project our brand identity. We talked. We thought. We drew. We thought some more.
But one morning Bernie woke up, a proverbial light bulb shining down on her. She instinctively reached for a paper pad and pen near her bed and sketched what had come to her in a dream. And there it was. Not quite finished but very close - the road lines of the Left Lane Pepper Company logo.
We finetuned the logo, adding a solid line to the dashed line. The words "Left Lane" were placed atop the solid line to symbolize being on the passing side of the lane. Perfect! The next step was to have a professional graphic designer, Mezbah Zohan (Buzz Media Design) create a digital version. We even applied for trademark protection and added the TM meatball to the logo. Eventually we'll hear back from the US Patent & Trademark Office and replace the TM with an ®, signifying official registration.
What's not shown on the logo is the company structure. Yes, we went so far as to form a New York-based LLC on April 20, 2021. That usually evokes a snicker from the 4/20 crowd but in this case the date was coincidental. The company registration was yet another step in the rewarding learning process of launching a startup.