courtesy of NASA
You have a point of view; or you want to do something or have other people do something; or you produce something. Until you tell someone about it, it’s just a lonely idea floating in a limitless black void.
Once you decide to tell someone about it, you have to decide how you are going to tell her. There, in a nutshell, is selling. That is what we love to do.
Selling gets a bad rap because some people bend its tools to nefarious ends. We all sell. Get over it.
The space program needed to be sold; and nothing had a more profound affect on the public’s attitude towards NASA than this single, simple, powerful image.
If you can tell the right person the right thing about who you are or what you believe or what you have to offer – in the most honest, compelling, remarkable, way… you win.
We do great work. We get compliments from clients, friends and strangers, receive awards, and overhear shoppers reacting to a new brand or package. These affirmations are pleasing, for sure. It’s always at the front of my mind, however, that our work must produce results; and there is a space, a sometimes anxious space, between faith that strategically sound, brand-focused beauty moves people and proof that said beauty moves people.
I salute the clients who make that leap of faith, and I am delighted (not surprised) when they are rewarded.
A couple of examples:
This past year, we launched a redesigned brand and website for Downeast Energy. In 2011, a challenging year for their industry, Downeast did well enough to fund profit sharing accounts and hand out bonuses and raises at a time when others were handing out pink slips.
We also launched a completely new branding and packaging for Gifford’s Ice Cream, and I was thrilled to see Lindsay Gifford-Skilling quoted in Inc Magazine noting that same store sales were up 19%. Woohoo!
Results. Tangible, quantifiable, and better than any trophy.
It’s always nice to receive awards. Recognition for the work we do is good for the clients, good for the ego, good for morale.
In the past month, we have received quite a bit of positive recognition: W3 Awards for NYA and Briggs websites, a Gold Broderson for the Gifford’s Ice Cream site, and the selection of several examples of our brand identity work for an AIGA Annual Exhibit in Portland. Kudos!
The real thrill, though, is less about that shiny heavy (sometimes expensive, sometimes ugly) trophy and more about the road that got us here.
Every day for almost 25 years we’ve been honing our craft, and every day we do our best to turn out exceptional, brand-focused work. So, here’s what I recognize: The true prize is just the simple act of coming to work at a job I love. I have the privilege of working with exceptional clients who trust us (and challenge us) to be brilliant and with a team that regularly renews that trust.
The rest is icing on the cake.
Steve Jobs taught me:
Genius is simple.
Genius is beautiful.
Genius is entertaining.
Genius looks easy. It isn’t.
Genius is active, not passive. It opens eyes. It challenges us.
Genius is unpredictable and obvious at the same time.
Genius changes everything and changes nothing.
It can change lives, but it can’t change life.
Genius is being aware of death, not afraid of death.
Genius is loving what you do.
Love is life’s greatest achievement.
Death is life’s greatest invention.
I thought about trying to describe what it’s like to get on a boat, sail off the mooring,and stay “out there” for 2 weeks; but Wendy has done it better than I ever could, here and here. If there’s anything more soul satisfying than cruising the waters of Penobscot Bay with family, I’ve yet to discover it.
We are all moved by the world we live in, by our environments. Our surroundings inform how we feel and what we do every day. Right now, Maine is just bursting with life. Fruits, vegetables, trees, marsh grass, flowers… everywhere you look, smell, feel, taste, hear, it’s lush, green, sensuous, sweet, inspiring… it’s ecstasy.
We take our inspiration where ever it comes from, and inspiration is in abundance, all around us today.
Wendy, my favorite blogger, has been capturing the highlights as we try to take it all in, chronicling the season in garden, food, and song.
The State Theater in Portland, ME has brought so much great music to us lately that we Continue reading