Don't worry. I'll explain the title of this blog soon enough. The suspense on how I will link 80s lines and Vedic symbolism must be excruciating.
I'm happy to say after about 4 years of brand misfires and reinvention Aaron and I finally settled on the look, feel and focus of Insightful Innovations.
We started off primarily as a coaching and training business, specializing in personality theories. We love systems, and teaching and helping people reach insights about themselves, but trying to fit our skills and interest into a business model that was already created was difficult. Particularly finding the right look for our logo.
Our first logo was well...These weird purple feather-leaves (that we were thrilled with for about three days). Unfortunately, it made us look like we were running a meditation retreat center. Which is cool, except if you knew how often one or both of us cussed at the computer on a daily basis you would know a meditation retreat we are not!
It served its purpose but we then felt it wasn't dynamic enough. We thought we needed more "oomph" so we decided a brand re-imagining was in order. We created our next logo iteration with that in mind, and thought, "we'll go more corporate and also rake in the dough". Branding fail (and business delusion).
First let me say the logo itself was fine, it was clean and modern but lacked personality (more specifically our personalities). Second, the two of us trying to fit into a corporate training box is just...I'll put it this way I think I can count the number of times on one hand that I've actually put on a tie.
Anyway, we did get more clients but felt like we lost not only our youthfulness, vibrancy and passion, but also the meaningfulness behind why we wanted to help people in the first place.
We've always been a bit kooky (and by kooky I mean into mysticism, esoterism and all manner of other non-traditional things), and we felt, because of predominant marketing beliefs regarding personal branding, that we should shy away from that in our brand image.
Nonetheless, we lost a great deal of interest in our own mission because we lost ourselves in the noise of "popular working standards". We also failed to see the real mission right under our noses. We had been going through a veritable identity crisis for the past few years, and failed to see our how struggles with leveraging our personalities into our brand could be helpful to others.
So we decided, okay, let's jump in feet first and do what we've been talking about doing since we began: spiritual mentoring. We've spent the past 5-6 years on both a joint and singular personal journey toward evolving and developing our own spiritual understanding. And let me say: they don't call it "work" for nothing. Our own fears about sharing our spiritual understanding and helping others to deepen their own, had become a major obstacle to solidifying our own brand personality.
We'd been eyeballing the recent trends in brand development and let me just say...the hipster abounds. Vintage circles, black and white minimalism, old-timey nautical things, and my favorite: the mustache logo, were everywhere. And I admit some of it is beautiful, and surely reflects the coolness of the brands they represent. So we dabbled in hipster land, even toying with this beaut (which looks like something out of a 1987 geometry book):
One day we looked at each other and thought: What are we doing?! This is not us! It's cool (which we liked to think we can be), but where is the meaning? Where is that shot of mysticism, elegance, vibrance and insight that we want to capture? It's not in those pretentious 80s lines. Which brings me to elephant-faced Vedic deities.
It's been a particularly difficult couple of months for us, as we've had a family medical crisis to deal with, so we've both been a tad stressed. Everyday I would put a little gold, iron statute of Ganesha in my pocket . It was something I'd had for years but never paid that much attention to and it sat collecting dust on my nightstand. I started carrying it recently because it made me feel like I could bust through the stress obstacles placed before me.
That Ganesha became my own little running buddy. So much so I actually turned around and came home one day just to pick him up. But more than that, I felt that the symbolism of Ganesha (who is the remover of obstacles and the patron of intellect and learning) would not only help get me through this difficult time personally but also as I trudge through finishing my dissertation.
One night during a branding brainstorming session we came across an image of Ganesha and we looked at each other simultaneously as if to say: "that's it..." (we often communicate telepathically).
So we began playing with the imagery that truly means something for us. The logo however is not just about what we love, but it's about what we're about and what we strive to do for others. We have often found ourselves helping others to remove obstacles (particularly psychological, emotional, spiritual or personal) in order to help them evolve to where they want to be. The circle around Ganesha represents continuity and the cyclical nature of all things, and the font...well the font is just cool.
So from feather,s to 80s lines, to Ganesh we have finally settled our branding identity crisis with a renewed fervor to help others navigate theirs. Sometimes the 80s happen, you just gotta let it pass to get to the good stuff.