Brand focus: start of a new beginning

New year, 2016. We’ve left 2015 behind. And we’re ready for a new beginning. I’ve always loved the new year. Feels like a clean slate. You can start all over. And it feels like we have a whole new year full of possibilities ahead of us. I like that feeling.

WHAT'S NEXT?

I’ve been thinking: What’s next? Branding-wise and for Atelier Pan in general as well. What are you going to do now? Look ahead to the future. What do you want to change? What are the things that are not working for your brand? Maybe your image is not really consistent yet. Maybe you need to rebrand everything. Get your focus back.

Most likely you don't have to totally abandon what you already have —branding-wise. It might be interesting to just sit down, look at what you have. Does it feel good to you? Does it resemble you, your brand and what you’re trying to accomplish? Or what you’re trying to provide for the world?

FEELING LOST

For me, I’m thinking… Atelier Pan has always been, like a growing project. I started with a friend of mine. That didn’t last that long. In the end we wanted to different things, but when we started, we wanted to use our skills as designers, as identity designers, as graphic designers to help sustainable projects get more visible and to make graphic design more sustainable in itself.

Like I said, it was something that we wanted to do and we just started.

We came up with a name that we thought suited what we wanted to achieve —Atelier Pan stands for the greek mythical creature Pan. He’s the god of nature and also part of a festive cult of the whine god Dionysus. So, he stands for creativity, fun and pleasure as well. That was the combination we were looking for: love for nature, creativity and fun. And our logo represents that mythological figure.

Atelier Pan | Love for nature, creativity and fun

But along the way I think I got a little bit too serious about everything. Of course it’s business —business is important and Atelier Pan is my source of income. It’s my living. It’s how I provide for myself and my family. But it has always been in the background… it’s about profit, it’s about making a living —not about fun and the experience for my clients. I talk about that a lot, but in the background it always was: Ok, it need to get more clients. I need to make more money. And the things I did were more like tools to achieve that, instead of considering the purpose first —like a beacon which guides everything: me, my brand and my business.

WHY SO SERIOUS?

You know. It’s like… if you consider money first, things start to get serious real fast.

I know it’s important to make a living and to provide for yourself and your family, but it’s not the only part. It’s also about having fun and having passion. And to have that represented in your brand is really important.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s all about the experience. The experience for yourself: your daily job, the things that you have to do. Are you having fun? Is your creativity coming through? If that’s important in your line of work. Although, I think that creativity is important in every line of work. It makes you go in a state of flow and that’s when best stuff comes out. Things work. So, it’s very important!

Atelier Pan | Experiences

Also take the experience for your clients into consideration. How do they experience working with you? Is it fun? Or is it just a chore for them? For example, I do brand development. How do clients work with me? I think brand development is one of the most interesting things you can do. I love it! You have to find out what the brand is gonna be all about. It’s about interactions. It’s about experiences. It’s about… visuals, representation. It’s about getting people enthusiastic for your brand, your product and service. I think it’s amazing! And I want that for my clients as well.

But along the way we get so caught up in the business stuff that we don’t enjoy it anymore or the client doesn’t enjoy it anymore. All of a sudden it’s all about pushing buttons, creating that page and is the conversion high enough.

I think that’s one of the changes that I would like to make the coming year. Show more of myself and what I like and do… and not to just focus on me, but how all this can benefit you (as a friend, a prospect or a client) and how my process of doing things can benefit you, your business and brand as well.

Experience. I think that’s very important.

MAKE SOME CHANGES

So, I think Atelier Pan should be… It was always about the creative side and the nature side —the sustainability side. Which it still is, but Pan also stands for fun and playfulness. I think if I explored that more, creativity will be so much more fun. And a lot more productive as well.

My point of all this is that I’m going to make some changes with Atelier Pan this year. And I’d like to encourage you to make some changes with your brand as well. What are going to focus on? What’s important to you? What’s important to your community? What’s important to your client? Stuff like that.

And how are you going to represent that? How are going to bring that out there —bring that into the world? You have so many tools to do that: Your brand name or brand logo. Your use of colours, the kind of fonts you use. How you interact with your clients —your behaviour. They all represent you, your company, your values… your message.

Everything comes together in your brand.

And it should be consistent. It should be a story. It should be a guideline for everything that you do.

Atelier Pan | Brand choices

For example, if you’re not sure if you should take a left or a right turn with your business. Think about what you want to accomplish. That about what you brand is… and the answer will be there. You will have to take that side that brings you close to what you want to achieve. Your brand can do so much for you!

Thank you for listening. I always appreciate that you guys are tuning in and take the time to read my stories.

START THE YEAR WITH YOUR WHY

The thing that you can do right now is just write down why you’re here. Why does your business exist? What is your mission and what’s the initial thing that got you here? Why did you start your business? What made it fun? Why did it make enthusiastic? And think if that is still integrated into your brand or not? Or in the daily stuff that you do? The way you communicatie your brand to the world… is it still in there?

I think that will be a great start for the new year: get that distinct feeling back of why you started.

What is your why?

To help you with your why,  I'd like to give you a gift card for a 20min. call with me to talk about your brand. All you need to do is answer the question in the comments below.

As soon as your comment is placed, I'll send you your gift card, so you can schedule your 20min. call. 

For some more information on how to get to your why, you can also read this article I wrote a while ago: Why should I do business with you? 

Atelier Pan | 2015 Annual Report | Gift card

See you guys next week! I hope you have a great week —a great year and I’ll talk to you later.

With pleasure,

Simon

Atelier Pan | Visual identities for Change makers

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