I have been with what was formerly called Kapor Enterprises for 5 years now. I’ve seen the various entities go through many transitions, evolutions and growth. I’ve seen many new folks join our team and I’ve built some very deep friendships with those people. So when I titled this blog post “Branding MY Kapor Center” it is because it was a personal endeavor for me. I was not hired as an outside contractor to rebrand this organization, I was lucky enough to take my very own team through a process of creating a new identity for itself and watch that process bring all of our long time beloved entities under one mission, brand, and name. And I have to say (pardon my lack of professional vocabulary here), it was “super duper fun”!
The process allowed me to go and interview individuals outside of our organization in order to understand where we stood at the time, in people’s views, an essential part of creating an identity. It allowed me to involve everyone on our staff in focus groups, brain storming sessions and activities that made sure that our diversity of ideas, opinions, backgrounds, experiences were reflected in the final output. We used the roots of who we already were as a foundation to build the rest of the structure of “what we do” (our mission and philosophy), “how we do it” (our values) and “what we are like while doing it” (our characteristics/traits as an organization).
Once that tree had grown from its roots then the beautiful leaves and flowers start to bloom, which for us represented all of our design work. I had the pleasure of working with a group of designers called Design Action Collective (www.designaction.org), who, over the course of 6 months, felt more like a part of our Kapor team than a vendor with whom we had a contract. They were right there by our side up to the last hours before our launch (as well as at our launch party) getting our website up and ready, our business cards in hand and those lovely little chocolate bars, with our logo on them, ready to go.
I find it difficult to have a successful identity that reflects who you are as an organization without all of the research, self exploration and reaching out having been done before hand. I also find it difficult, in fact impossible, to have a strong and beautiful fabric to support us if that fabric isn’t made of all kinds of different threads, with different flexibilities, thickness, colors, material. This diversity in our fabric is OUR PEOPLE and is hopefully reflected in the intersecting and intertwining threads and colors of our logo, forming a complete and strong shape. So when you DO have all of that, backing up your work, then there’s nothing more wonderful than watching your team slowly fall in love with your brand, your logo, colors, imagery, etc… when you can tell that it truly projects who you are. And as much as I loved launching our new identity for of all of our supporters, friends, partners and community to see; my greatest joy was seeing the effect it had on our staff, how much it brought us together in one close-knit and strong team (stronger than we have ever been and we already considered ourselves pretty darn close!). It’s truly amazing what a focused, unifying mission, a clear understanding of each other’s roles and matching track jackets will do. I highly recommend it to anyone!