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Win the hearts of the right people

Stop the guessing game and ditch fruitless marketing. Instead, let’s create a brand that wins their “YES!”

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If you believe developing a distinctive brand is the smartest way to build a successful business, we should talk

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We help visionaries achieve business goals with a distinctive brand that wins hearts.

We dig deep to determine who your target customers are as precisely as possible. And we define what can make your brand truly exceptional from their perspective.
Once we’ve done that, we focus our efforts on creating copy, design, or any other part of the brand experience to engage the "right people" and inspire action.
Because we know a greater understanding is key to creating deeper bonds with one’s audience at an emotional level. That’s what successful brands do.
Branding should be all about humans connecting with other humans. We’ve seen time and again that building an authentic brand that wins hearts is the key to success in business.
Taehee Kim Verney-Carron,
Founder of Making You Smile
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Our motivations are driven by something deeper than the bottom line

At Making You Smile, our mission is to create meaningful brands that contribute to making people’s lives a little brighter each day. Together, we believe we can make the world a better place. A world where people have more reasons to smile.

By helping organizations define what truly makes them unique, our work also creates happier and more confident teams thanks to a clearer vision and purpose.

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How Making You Smile was born

Founding story - told by Taehee

Growing up, my father was a significant influence on my life. He served our native country of South Korea for 35 years as a public official. I would often hear my mother tell my brother and me a particular story about my father’s passion for his work from the earliest stages of his career.

Back when he and she were dating in the early 1970s, he would carry around a huge transistor radio on his shoulder each time they were going just a little bit farther than usual outside of Seoul.

Of course, my mother found it absolutely ridiculous. But he would always tell her, “Being the civil servant I am, I must be aware of the latest news at all times and be ready to run back to the office whenever this country needs me.”

Indeed, I remember him being such a proud and dedicated professional. For him, work was much more than just work. He was happy to get up every morning knowing that he was contributing to the development of his country.

He had a purpose, and I admired him for that.

In June 2014, just a couple of days after my nephew’s first birthday party, my father had a severe stroke at the age of 66. Most of his body was paralyzed. He could not walk. He could not chew or swallow any hard food. He could not speak at all anymore. It was devastating for our whole family.

After a two-week-long stay in Seoul, I had to say goodbye to my paralyzed father to come back to Paris, the city where I still work and live to this day. Although heartbroken, I knew what to whisper into his left ear to comfort both him and myself.

“Dad, I will call you very often. I will tell you everything about my work. You love hearing about my work, don’t you? And I promise I will work with a higher purpose from now on. I promise I will try my best so I can tell you how I’m making this world a better place through my own job every day. Just like you did. I know it will make you happy and give you strength to go on, so it is now my motivation.”

My heart ached as I watched him struggling to say something. His face muscles were all stiff. His lips were hardly moving. He couldn’t pronounce a word. In the end, he gave a big nod and smiled at me with the left part of his face which was less paralyzed than the right.

After I made that promise to him, in addition to my corporate job in marketing, I started coaching my friends (and their friends) for job interviews to help them land their dream positions. It was not about giving them some standardized tips like “how to handle tricky questions” or “how to justify employment gaps.” Instead, I applied marketing principals to individuals with a tweak, adding my own understanding about branding.

I helped them identify their unique differentiation points by guiding them to genuinely understand who they really were. What made up the essence of their lives as well as their career paths. What they profoundly pursued professionally and personally.

Next, I helped them shine their stories and present them with clarity and consistency. I also worked with them to position themselves so as to find the right match in the job market.

Then I saw that smile on their faces.
The smile of confidence.
The smile of satisfaction.
The smile of purpose as they better understood who they truly were and what they aspired to be.

A few years later, I began doing the same for brands. I did it first as a freelancer, and now as an entrepreneur and the founder of Making You Smile.

My father passed away in January 2017. I cannot tell him how I strive to create meaningful and purpose-driven brands that contribute to making people’s lives a little brighter each day.

But Florent, my husband (who is also part of the Making You Smile team), and I are pretty sure that one day, our daughter will nod and smile when she finally understands why we are doing what we are doing.

Our small but mighty attempt to make the world a better place for her generation and her children’s generation.

A world where people have more reasons to smile.