Back in 1886, cattle farmers wanted to mark their animals to show ownership. Their idea? Brand them. They used a branding iron to put their unique design on the farm animal. The act of marking livestock with fire-heated marks to identify ownership has origins in ancient times, with use dating back to the ancient Egyptians around 2,700BC. Among the ancient Romans, the symbols used for brands were sometimes chosen as part of a magic spell aimed at protecting animals from harm. While part of me tears up thinking about this happening, this concept is what shaped branding and logo design.
Representation vs. Reputation
Originally, a logo was designed to show a visual representation of a brand. When you see the famous swoosh check-mark, you think of Nike. It doesn’t matter if you see the word Nike or not – you know that visual swoosh represents their brand.
Can you think of other brands that you can recognize simply based on the logo?
But today, a logo is much more than a representation of a brand – a logo is about reputation. A logo should evoke emotion and feelings. A logo helps you recall a story or experience. For Ashley, seeing the Apple logo does this – whether you see the Apple symbol or the brand name Apple, you can feel emotions. Ashley goes back in time to getting her first iPod. Then, she thinks about when she got her first iPhone – she mainly wanted an iPhone so she could download the Instagram App. The brand is much more than a phone company to Ashley; Apple is a memory. Apple is a feeling of simplicity and excitement.
For Lauralee, a die-hard road warrior and wanderlust, it’s the Hilton logo that evokes memories of her first traveling consulting job. Her co-worker spent hours going through the “rules of the road” traveling tips beginning with a Hilton Property Hampton Inn printed (YES! Printed!) locations guide. John encouraged her to always choose a Hilton Property when possible because they were clean, affordable, well-equipped, and came with plenty of travel points. Now, over 14 years later Hilton is still her go-to for hotels. Pulling her roller bag into a Hilton owned Hampton Inn takes her back to the feeling of being new to consulting and a beginner business traveler.
Do you have any brands that create this type of emotion or feeling for you based on their logo?
What Does Stratavize Mean?
When Lauralee launched Stratavize in 2016, she was more focused on clients, services and the experience than the name. However, she knew the name had to be just right and had to represent in a creative way the solutions she would offer. Sitting in the living room with a long list of very boring, unoriginal, and frankly plain names she enrolled the help of her husband. She started sharing the brand names with her husband, like; (sadly, this was the original list of names) Hites Consulting, NoVo Consulting, Blue Dog Consulting, and they only got worse from there. Finally, her husband asked; “Well, what are the services in only 2 or 3 words?” Her response, “Strategy. Basically, advising on strategy design and execution.” His response; “So, strategy and advising? Combine them and that’s Stratavize. What about that?”
“Brilliant,” Lauralee said. And just like that, Stratavize was born in the living room of a cozy Cambridge City home.
At first, Lauralee wanted a logo for business cards and her website. When you are launching a business, you have a lot of important orders and critical tasks. The logo, back then, was something she wanted to cross off quickly on her to-do list.
When Lauralee meets Ashley
Flash forward in 2017, Lauralee meets Ashley Sieb at the Innovation Center. A quick introduction turned into a two-hour conversation about life – where both professional and personal goals were shared. The two became friends and decided to work on Richmond Social Media together. Through their work and time together, they realized they had complementary passions and skills. In a giant leap of faith, both of them left their safe corporate jobs to work together under the Stratavize brand.
When it came to branding, Ashley and Lauralee slowed down. They always tell their clients to be intentional with their ideas and thoughtful about the desired outcomes. Upon looking at 16 different logo options, they did not agree on the favorite design. Ashley and Lauralee both shared their reasons for the logo they preferred, but then – toward the end, Ashley finds a final page of logos.
“Well, what about this one?” Ashley said.
“I am not so sure,” Lauralee said. “I really like the light bulb one.”
“Right,” Ashley said. “But I love the story that this logo can tell with the arrows. A lot of times, our clients come to us because they are pointing in different directions. They want to come together and get aligned toward the same core purpose.”
“Ohhhh,” Lauralee said. “I like that! And this logo could also speak to the different paths and options leaders can take to improve. Or, the ways that teams move in different directions.”
“YES!” Ashley said. “I love that.”
A Great Logo has a Story
We wanted our logo to have a story. We wanted the logo to inspire meaning and purpose. And after that thoughtful conversation, Ashley and Lauralee felt proud of the decision they made as a team.
At Stratavize, we believe one of the biggest reasons’ teams fail is misalignment; this could be the misalignment of the goal, misalignment of roles or misalignment of communication. This is why our logo has two arrows pointing in different directions. Together, we work with our clients to overcome these challenges and other problems teams face. Without high-performing teams, leaders can’t execute. Without great leaders, teams flounder in dismay. Together, we collaborate to design a strategic plan for the entire organization focusing on everything from business direction to how to engage employees. We work with our clients from end to end; HR to operations to marketing. It’s our mission is to help organizations to reach their best-envisioned future.
All of our clients have different problems, ideas, and visions – that’s the beauty of our work. No matter our client’s industry or challenge, we can always come back to these six customer promises:
While our logo can’t capture all of those words and ideas, we hope that when people see this new logo – they recall experiences or memories with Stratavize Consulting. We hope, they can think of a time when they were inspired to think in a new, creative, and thoughtful way. We hope, they recall a time when they collaborated on a project for a better outcome. And we always hope they remember our focus on being intentional in our work, thoughts, and responses.
As Leslie Knope says during her commencement speech in the final episode of Parks & Rec, “The best prize life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing. And I would add that what makes work worth doing is getting to do it with people you love. Find your team and get to work.”
We are ready.
Follow Stratavize on these social platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Stratavize’s LinkedIn business page. Interested in learning more about how Stratavize serves our clients as a strategy facilitator, project managers, and more? See our unique approach to strategy design and implementation.