Alina and Ammara Masood each received a £6,500 Start Up Loan through Virgin StartUp to launch Cofi Coo a company that creates Quillows – a multi-purpose blanket that folds away into a cushion. In this blog, Alina, reveals the process the co-founders went through to create the brand.

Tell us a little about your brand and the story behind it

The Cofi Coo brand experience is all about encouraging children to use their imagination to pretend play and create stories using the Cofi Coo characters and the Quillow as a tool.

At Cofi Coo we didn’t just want to offer our customers a commodity, but offer value that can have lifelong result and contribute positively towards a child’s development. So, we decided to endorse one of our favourite Einstein quotes ‘Imagination is more important that knowledge’. This quote really resonates the essence we wanted to instil within the Cofi Coo brand.

We grew up in the 90’s and although we had Nintendo and Play Stations, we still engaged in pretend play and found it more fun and engaging. In the modern world where technology is in the centre of every household, the element of pretend play is not so much common as it used to be. And so we were passionate about retaining and bringing some of the old methods of pretend play as it is a key driver in contributing towards a child’s cognitive development.

What is at the core of your brand? What are the 3 words that sum it up?

Imaginative, Fun and Creative.

What sort of market research did you do?

We devoted a lot of time towards market research, which included one to ones with parents, children, industry experts and observing the current brands and trends in the children’s market. We felt this was a crucial stage to help us determine our point of difference.

What is your design / style like, and how does this tie into your brand ethos?

At Cofi Coo we follow a design process where the first stage is to brainstorm concepts, character ideas, personalities, features, the surroundings and the message we want to convey. The key is to be as imaginative as possible, so that the core brand values of “imagination” and “creativity” are reflected through the designs. Even the silliest ideas are noted down! In terms of colours, we use a vibrant colour palette because vibrant colours are known to be stimulating and can have a positive impact on a child’s mood, productivity and behaviour.

We present our ideas in the form of illustrations, which the child can use as a starting point for their storytelling journey. There is an element of fun learning in our designs. For example, through the Space Bots Quillow the child can learn about the solar system. Children are only given basic information about the characters, priming them to create their own stories and share it with us. 

Did you work with designers / brand consultants?

We use freelance designers who we work very closely with, as we like to be involved in designing process.

Has your brand changed or has it remained very consistent since day one?

The Cofi Coo brand has evolved with time. We are on a continuous mission to add as much value and enhance the brand experience as we go along, whilst keeping with the core values.  

What’s next for your brand journey?

The next step is to continue creating brand awareness. This will be done by interacting and communicating our product offering, brand values and benefits through various mediums such collaborating with parent bloggers and organisations.

Get the Virgin StartUp Business plan

The information contained in this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice on any matter.  Use of this website is at users own risk and is not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship between Virgin StartUp and any user. Information displayed on this website is provided “as is” and Virgin StartUp does not provide any express or implied warranty or representation concerning the information, including but not limited to the accuracy or appropriateness of the information. Virgin StartUp recommend that users seek their own legal advice before taking (or refraining from) taking any action and do not accept any liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the information displayed on this website to the fullest extent permitted by law.