Being mindful in an age of ever-present distraction, living with purpose and intent, is something we're hearing a lot about lately. Everyone from mental health advocates to CEOs are championing the idea of being more 'present' in our own lives.
They're not wrong, and it's not even a new concept. We're just applying it differently today.
Since the 50s researchers have known that employee motivation is vastly more effective when it's tied into a reward system based on the intrinsic, rather than extrinsic. In short, being made to feel valued, being given more responsibility, being given purpose trumps being given a raise nearly every time*.
So it's not surprising that as we spend more and more time staring into our ever-present screens, many of us are feeling adrift and at odds with our lives.
I think this is also showing up in business, in a slightly different form.
In a pattern that seems to be creeping higher and higher up the business food chain, we're seeing a trend of SMEs needing design overhauls in a time frame that's alarmingly close to their most recent 'rebrand'.
I put quotes around the word rebrand, because in this context a 'rebrand' isn't really what's occurred. They've farmed out the logo to Fiverr and found a designer from UpWork and rolled out a new look and feel in a couple of weeks.
Then a year or so later, they do it again.
It's not because the quality of the design is bad - frequently it's great.
It just lacks purpose.
And when you lack purpose in your life or in your business, ennui sets in. Change looks more and more appealing. Any change.
Until next year, that is...
At its core, brand is pure purpose. Branding is how we realise that purpose.
If you don't have a clear vision of your direction, products and customers how can you possibly communicate the essence of your business to a designer?
You'll get back what you put in - a random miasma of aesthetics that doesn't properly reflect you or your business.
This is the problem that branding solves: In the process we are your business confidants and your corporate midwives. We're the objective eye that filters out your personal subjectivity. We communicate your value with ruthless effectiveness - whether that's to your clients and customers, your employees, your investors... or all of the above.
When done properly, everything that appears on the page, on screen or anywhere else has purpose.
That's why brands, by definition created with purpose and intent, are built to last.
*The exception is for physical rote work that doesn't require deep cognitive function to perform - the definition of work harder, not smarter!