A lot has changed since Bespoke got its start 10 years ago.
At the time, my mother had just passed away, my wee boys were needing my attention and my job at the University of Calgary was only going to get busier in the wake of a major campaign. I needed to pull back a bit, but I still loved my career and wanted my work to matter—to support those working to build better communities and a brighter future for all our kids.
So, I incorporated Bespoke and signed on my first client. We stayed intentionally small for many years, to keep some proverbial ‘balance’. Then, over the past few years, Bespoke grew. We have worked with dream clients on dream projects and we’ve assembled a team [link to new team page] of social profit warriors. Today, we’re launching a refreshed brand that reflects that growth and who we are today.
Our initial brand identity and voice was about compassion. The button represented the custom—bespoke—nature of our work and the connections we bridge.
We liked it a lot, but we evolved, so did the social profit sector, and, for that matter, the world.
We knew in our hearts that we had something new to say about ourselves and those that we represent in the work we do.
WHAT IS BRAND ANYWAY?
Sometimes the idea of ‘brand’ is mistakenly reduced to a logo, colours and fonts. But a (strong) brand is so much more than that.
A brand embodies what you do, who you are and the experience your stakeholders have when they work with you. Brands are ultimately about feelings—the feeling(s) people have when they interact with that brand.
A brand includes a logo and your colours, but it’s also the way you speak, write, and where and how you show up in the world. Your CEO speaking at a conference is part of your brand. The signature smell of McDonald’s fries is part of their brand.
The best brands inspire an emotional connection between an organization and their customers. Hopefully, that’s a meaningful connection and makes people want to come back for more.
WHY DOES BRAND MATTER?
Your brand is about building relationships. It is how you build trust and loyalty with your customers, your community and donors.
A strong brand is how you become recognized for your services, and plays a vital part in attracting and retaining great employees, investors (I.e. donors and funders) and ambassadors.
Brands play an enormous part in internal culture as well. When brand and brand values are well aligned and practiced, your team is engaged, inspired and tends to stick around longer.
WANT TO REVISIT YOUR BRAND? FIRST, ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS.
Branding starts with some inspired navel gazing. Gather your people, say a few OMMMMs, ask these questions and get real with each other:
How does our community see us?
What do we sound like, both in our communications and IRL?
How do others feel after interacting with us?
What is our tangible impact?
What makes us radically different?
When we answered those questions, we realized that our answers no longer aligned with our brand.
Yes, we are compassionate, but what makes us radically different is our bold, entrepreneurial approach. Our willingness to drive and to inspire innovation.
Our work is custom, yes, but it’s also about bringing real and lasting change, not just to the organizations we work with, but to the social profit sector as a whole. We don’t do things the way they’ve always been done—we ask the hard questions because we want the very best for you and the people you serve.
IF YOUR OR
AGANIZATION WAS A PERSON, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
It’s no secret that the more human your brand, the greater emotional connection you can make with people. By extension, it doesn’t hurt to actually imagine your brand/your organization as a person.
What do we love and loathe and why?
What do we care most deeply about?
What do we want to change?
How do we describe ourselves?
Some of the words that came up in our discussion were curious, creative, transformative, bold and respectfully provocative.
What do we care about and want to change? At Bespoke, we care about empowering social profit organizations to attract the resources they need to have transformational impact.
FIND YOURSELF AN AGENCY WHO GETS YOU
When we arrived at Good Company’s website and read the words “Design for people doing good things” we knew we had found our people. And we were right. Good Company took our soul searching and our ideas and turned them into this:
Our new logo is an evolution of the old one. The four dots are a nod to the button – our work will always be bespoke and tailored for each client. The dots also have a new meaning for us, as they signify our four major areas of service: governance, strategy, revenue generation, and marketing and communications.
Building a brand is a journey. (Check out Zendesk’s video about the thinking behind their new brand).
Here’s the part where we tell you that we can help you refresh, rethink and relaunch your brand. Our wickedly creative strategists bring a fresh perspective and know how to ask the questions that will help you pinpoint the value that only you can bring. Not only will you look and feel better, a strong brand and the right positioning will make your case for support or fundraising campaign so much more compelling.
Thank you for spending a moment with us today—and for being along for the ride.