#4. The story behind: making of Konny
Why is the brand named Konny?
I didn't want to rush to choose the name of the brand as I was going to put my heart and soul into it for sometime. I didn't expect the name to contain meanings that were either too grandiose or monumental. A brand name with a small yet solid meaning was more than enough. So I began to think about what led me to come up with an idea to start this business in the first place-- in other words, “the muse” of this brand.
Since this had all started with the purpose of addressing the inconveniences I faced after childbirth, I wanted a brand name that conveyed maternal love. (I may have focused a bit too much on maternal love only...) One of the options were oguogu-- an onomatopoeic Korean word, similar to “aww” that shows love and adoration. It wasn’t stylish; yet I figured it could be catchy and memorable to anyone who heard it. But I soon found out that there was already a brand named oguogu (first shock) and led myself to think that such names would fail my business quickly (second shock). Finally, I held myself together and came up with a simpler and more popular brand name. (My obsession for oguogu still remains in my company bank account number, which has five and nine repeating four times in a row. FYI, five is pronounced as “o” and nine as “gu” in Korean.)
Now, back to the story of my muse. When my baby was put on my belly right after the delivery for kangaroo care, I was overwhelmed by a feeling that I've never experienced before. This red, tiny little newborn was wriggling his way up on my belly to be breastfed, not knowing how to use his hands or feet or even keep his neck straight. I felt a grave sense of responsibility.
Holding this tiny little living creature in my arms, I couldn't help but think that breastfeeding was the least I could do for this little one. So I diligently breastfed him ten times a day.
One day while breastfeeding him at a postpartum care center, I had a flash memory of watching a documentary film titled “Tears of the Antarctic."
In one of the episodes, I saw how a male emperor penguin kept his only egg safe with the utmost care and affection. He could barely move in his extremely uncomfortable posture, fighting against the strong wind, enemies and other male penguins who had already lost their eggs. Indeed, it was his true love that led his penguin chick to be successfully hatched from the shell.
As if rearing the newly hatched penguin was the final mission of his life, the father emperor penguin was doing his utmost to provide what was best for his little one. Witnessing his struggles on the screen, I was wholeheartedly cheering for him, laughing and crying together. When I gazed at my sleeping baby who passed out after being breastfed, I felt like I was the father emperor penguin.
Then I asked my talented friend (Instagram @hmnl.draw) to design an image of this penguin family. And I received this beautiful image below, which heralded the beginning of the brand.
As for the name of the brand, my husband and I had been considering a brand name similar to the fetal nickname of our child, Malkum, which means “clean and pure” in Korean. We first thought of Kumi, which was the shortened version of the nickname. But the problem was that the City of Gumi in North Gyeongsang province in Korea had already acquired the related trademark rights including Kumi’s, as it was similarly pronounced as Gumi in Korean.
We kept on brainstorming and finally decided to call our brand Konny. In the end, we believe it was the right decision. (Thank you, City of Gumi…)
We developed a logo that combined Konny and a penguin image as below. (This was an early version of our logo.)
It wouldn't be just me who knows exactly what I felt when I held my newborn in my arms for the first time. I am very pleased that our logo suitably reflects that special feeling after the delivery. :)