Clarity – Marketing advice for mission-driven companies and causes

Marketing insights to help you achieve greater impact by aligning profit and purpose, for changemakers from conscious companies and meaningful causes. Empower your team and supporters to influence, inspire, and engage the communities you serve through branding, design, and marketing in our digital and social world.

What's in a name?

September 3, 2012

Sixteen years ago, it was simple enough to start a business under my own name, and build it on the talent and experience that a young designer had at the time. Over that time, the firm has matured; our expertise has deepened, we are engaged in the strategic aspects of our client engagements more than ever. Welcome to Aespire®.

Why Aespire?

August 28, 2012

At the end of the day, every cause has one aim: to achieve greater good and have lasting impact in their community, region and in the world.

After a recent conversation with the communications director of a global manufacturing company who also runs a non-profit, I've been thinking lately about the designer's obligation for altruism. To put it simply, we are obliged to give back to the community in meaningful ways.

By now, your nonprofit or higher education organization has either wholly embraced social media, or has yet to even create a Twitter or Facebook account.

Some organizations believe that social media is now the primary way to build relationships, forgetting that it's just part of the media mix. Social media, design and traditional media all contribute to a healthy communications continuum for any nonprofit or grant making organization.

Since fifty is the new thirty, as a firm we want to move from the pursuit of success to the achievement of significance. Awards and recognition don’t matter as much anymore; doing work that leaves a lasting and noticeable impact does.

For the past few years, we’ve been talking with our clients about alignment – when branding and communications align with the organization’s mission and connect with stakeholder’s values.

It’s not complicated: Listen closely to what the stakeholders are saying, and it will be clear what they are listening for.

10 years ago, I started on a journey to reinvent my firm, without realizing that it was the beginning of a road less traveled. Where many designers are passionate about design, I am equally passionate about running my business well. Learning to conduct business, manage business, and develop business is an ongoing process. Solving problems for our clients is important; I want them to know I also understand their business challenges.

Apple announced Steve Jobs' retirement as CEO on August 28, 2011.  There will be many articles written, including this one from FastCo Design: What Makes Steve Jobs so Great?

In our work with mission-driven organizations, we encounter far too many JPEG and GIF format logos and not enough of what makes design and visual branding simple: vector .EPS logo formats.

As you continue to explore the significance of branding, at some point an executive director or executive will need to explain branding to the board of directors. Ideally, the board will recognize that they need to move beyond branding, to brand alignment.