In our last Content Kitchen video Guy shared some valuable tips for creating a memorable logo. If you’ve been following our ‘Anatomy of a brand’ series, you’ll have read How to build your brand on purpose and Do you really need a vision and a mission statement? by guest blogger and branding expert Jän Ostendorf of Purpose Branding. This week, Jän reveals his take on how the final stage – visualising your ideas and concepts – should unfold.
It’s time to start taking all the verbal information (like purpose, vision and mission) and exploring visuals that communicate, symbolise and reinforce those meanings. At this point in the process you should hire a marketing agency or design firm. But have no fear – you have plenty of guidance to give them for art direction. It’s amazing to see how others trained in the creative profession will render your purpose (your verbal information) into words and images.
A common visual language
I have a few recommendations on how to work with one of these types of businesses.
To begin with, take baby steps. This will save time, money and frustration in missed expectations. Ask the creative professional to provide as many examples or ideas found already in use out there in the world. They can conduct a Google image search or use Pinterest to create a board. I use Pinterest for creating quick brand (electronic mood or image) boards. This allows you to have a common visual language from which to determine what each other means by words like “clean” or “retro” or “classy”. Everyone has a different idea of what those words look like and it’s much quicker if you have photos, graphics or images that resemble what you have in mind.
Walking through the start of the concept ideation phase like this – with existing examples from any industry and online resource, from posters and paintings to textiles and tapestries – provides an amazing tangible and common visual language that both parties can use as a reference. These examples could be anything that visually expresses what each side is trying to communicate. What I love about exploring visuals this way is that we always end up somewhere I could’ve never predicted or found on my own. This process will work well for interfacing with an agency or a creative individual.
Bridging the gap between verbal and visual
You might be a small company that’s trying to save money by not hiring an agency or design firm. In this case you want to look for an artist or designer that’s already proficient at the style that fits the personality or look of the brand you’re trying to achieve. There are plenty of places online to look, for example, Dribble, Pinterest or Instagram. It’s probably best not to go to a crowd-sourced logo design site. The reason being is that these designers will quickly (that’s how they make money) generate top-of-mind, i.e. generic-looking designs, thus diminishing the whole idea of being authentic.
The ability to bridge the gap between the verbal business strategy and the visual design is hard to find in one person and sometimes in one business. Collaboration between a few professionals may be needed – copywriters, illustrators, etc. You, as the vision-caster, being involved in the process and having done your homework (of defining your purpose, vision and mission) will go a long way toward arriving at the look you want for your brand and establishing your unique place in the marketplace.
Here are the logos Wildheart Media have developed for some of their customers:
Based in Miami and run by David Keil, Yoganatomy has become a leading provider of anatomy training for yoga teachers, studios and serious yoga practitioners.
Stillpoint Yoga London
A busy early morning Mysore-style yoga shala nestled in the heart of London, which was founded by Scott Johnson. They also have a fantastic program of workshops and retreats.
Ayurvedic Yoga Massage UK
The UK’s leading provider of training for Ayurvedic Yoga Massage, founded by Despina Psarra. AYM UK offers training and treatments throughout the UK and Europe.
A yoga studio start-up located in Horsham, which was founded by Irina Pashkevich. Her mission is to share yoga and wellbeing therapies with the locals of West Sussex.
Attracting the right people for the right reasons
This idea of owning a unique space in the marketplace is not just about separating yourself from your competition for the sake of looking and sounding different. The real purpose is matching the expectation your potential customers have in their mind before they interact with your business.
It’s about attracting the right people for the right reasons. It’s about a steady and sustainable growth with those who will become your tribe, lifers, your permanent and enthusiastic sales force – those who will be telling your story to others just like them.
They will reach people you cannot. This type of “sales” is natural and unforced. It’s about sharing life. It’s not price or offer driven. To achieve organic growth is what every business is looking to achieve. It takes time and diligence in communicating a purposeful and intended message that is clear and reinforced in every experience, colour, typeface, website heading, email, Facebook post and so on. It’s a marathon, not a race. Ready… set… go!
If you’re struggling to bring your purpose and mission to life, Wildheart Media can help. We have a logo and style guide package to give your business a strong brand identity. Book a free consultation to get started today.
About the author
Jän Ostendorf runs a branding consultancy called Purpose Branding where he helps small privately-held business owners clarify their message, both verbally and visually, bringing the power of branding to small businesses.
He lives just outside Dayton, Ohio with his wife Sonja and two children – just a block away from their yoga studio where he practises Ashtanga daily.