What are Sustainable Brand Systems?
Sustainability is a journey. Business profitability, human-centered approaches, and reducing our environmental impact are all a work in progress. Everyone is on a journey and we intend to be a guide.
Sustainability is about balance. People, the planet, and profit are three levers for sustainable solutions. A business that isn’t profitable won’t exist. A business that doesn’t account for people won’t work. A business that ignores climate change will do so at its peril. Sustainable brands should balance these interests.
Sustainability is about progress over perfection. Not every business – including ourselves and our clients – will exceed on all levels. They’re not absolute, nor are they mutually exclusive. Our client's self-preservation aim is profit, and our agenda and prescription are to become more focused on people. On the ground, that means leveraging human-centered design approaches. At a higher level, that means taking into account our environment, too.
Brands are about promises and perceptions. Who is our target? What do we claim in the marketplace? Company positioning is a brand choice. How will we be different and better than others in our marketplace? We research people and markets to better understand what is and explore what could be to recommend a strategic focus for our clients.
Brands are about psychology. What do we want customers, partners, employees to think, feel, or do? What does it mean to them? What is our perception goal? What are we willing to do to create that perception? A new direction can create alignment and opportunities for innovation.
Brands are about identity. How will a brand be expressed? What is the tone, message, name, and aesthetic? How does the brand identity align with the goals of the company and reflect the goals of their customers?
Brands are about community. We also focus our energy on what happens backstage – company culture. Talent can be transformational. Brand meaning is just as important for employees and partners.
Systems thinking is about awareness and influence. Nearly all aspects of our complex world are a product of systems – natural systems, market systems, people systems. From competitors to marketing programs, human habits to environmental footprint, we seek to understand and influence systems for a positive effect.
System implementation means programs. We create programs based on patterns and desired results. We create templates and standards for internal teams. We partner and coach our clients to get traction and deliver value.
System improvement means metrics. Systems have inputs and outputs. We look for opportunities to measure and aggregate results to track progress in a meaningful way.