Not long ago, a billboard that had been present at the entrance to our city for as long as I can remember (turns out it was 14 years or so) was changed. I didn’t see it myself because I don’t travel that route frequently. But a local radio personality pointed it out, and I knew right away which billboard she meant. She felt a void when driving past the billboard now–the familiar smiling face of the realtor featured was a sort of joyful greeting in the morning. Fortunately, the realtor plans to bring it back at some point.
Who would think that something like a billboard would make that much difference to commuters?
In a similar fashion that’s what branding is about. We get used to seeing familiar logos and colors to represent organizations we’ve become comfortable having around. But like a room that needs a fresh coat of paint once in a while, a strategic “re-branding” can bring new life to the familiar. (With that in mind, I look forward to seeing the new billboard.) It’s a risk. After all there have been re-branding disasters. But many are successful in portraying their foundation while being more relevant to where they are going–and growing.
H.O.P.E. Unlimited is going through a bit of rebranding. Back in the latter part of 2014, I felt it was time to narrow the business focus a bit and specialize in virtual assisting. I also had regular opportunities to teach in the business soft skills niche (non-computer skills like team building, leadership, communication, time management, organization, etc. all in professional contexts.) So I subtly changed my motto from Helping Other People Excel to Helping Overwhelmed Professionals Excel.
Finding this direction to be working, I’ve continued on the path to focusing on helping entrereneurs, NPO’s and individual business execs with their everyday tasks, while also teaching or speaking to groups of employees. This meant reframing some of how I was writing blog posts and what resources I am considering writing or developing.
The most recent step was to do a little freshening of HOPE’s logo and brand palette.
Other than the motto change, H.O.P.E. has had the same logo since I started my business back in 2010.
I’ve always liked the bright colors, the leaves representing growth, and the fluid feel. I didn’t want to make a major change. Still, I felt some tightening was in order, and thanks to my graphic design co-hort, Amy of AT Your Design, (who also serves on HOPE’s team) we made some subtle modifications and are happy to introduce them. (See the new version at the top of the post.)
Here are some points about the re-brand:
- The change is intentionally subtle and is more of an update than a complete re-do
- Many of the meanings mentioned below came to mind after the logo was re-done…it was amazing how reflecting on the changes opened my eyes to so many things I want HOPE to portray…it happened very organically and naturally!
- We maintained some consistency with the past, so that materials branded with the “old” logo are not dramatically different than the new one and there isn’t a need to go back and change everything on which the former logo appears. I see this new logo as one cooperative with the other.
- We changed the four leaf cluster to something more modern and minimalistic. The potted plant represents:
- A connection with many professionals who have a plant on their desk or in their office
- A contained (organized) foundation which acts as roots. I want to give clients a reliable foundation, and center for their admin work and professional growth
- Three areas of service: virtual assisting, teaching/speaking, and writing
- Upward growth: helping others excel and achieve their vision
- Minimalism: aiming for simple, logical systems that foster results
- We used three types of fonts:
- Blocked font represents strong support and a clean, efficient, stable professionalism
- Script font portrays handwriting, elegance, and friendliness
- URL font represents creative, standout and solid resources with space to reflect and refresh
- We maintained most of the color palette used in the past although we have added purple and replaced the black with brown, knowing that black or white can be used when appropriate as classic colors. Each color has meaning that ties in with characteristics I want to be vital parts of what we offer clients and students:
- Brown – down to earth, stable, having substance
- Green – growing, natural, refreshing
- Blue – visionary, dependable, peaceful, committed/loyal
- Orange – bright, fun, friendly, energetic
- Purple – elegant, excellent, spiritual/faith centered
All in all, we HOPE all the elements that went into the rebrand achieve the goal of presenting HOPE Unlimited as a vital member of your business team and/or your personal development plan.