UME is a collaborative design studio growing brands from the inside-out.
Last year we decided to ask ourselves some big questions — questions that we usually ask our clients, like: Who are we? Why do we show up? What’s our work in the world? After much wondering, wrestling, designing, playing and revising with our talented -team, we rebranded our studio — and our website.
Applying the creative process to ourselves gave us more empathy for our clients and taught us a thing or two about taking our own medicine.
Here are some of the most important lessons we learned:
1. Get ready to work. Branding is deep spiritual work that requires us to be vulnerable. To take an honest look at ourselves and ask tough questions. To shed the old and step into the new and not-so familiar. So expect to feel a little uncomfortable.
2. Seek diverse perspectives. Engaging team members, advisors and trusted clients in the branding process uncovers rich insights, illuminates blindspots, builds trust and strengthens important relationships. The work becomes more honest and transformative as a result.
3. Trust in the process. Commit to your vision of success — and stay open to how you get there. We all come to the table with hypotheses and assumptions. But as we move through each intentional step of the process, new insights and opportunities are revealed. Trust in the process (and your team!) and the solutions will emerge.
4. Find your courage. Transformation calls for bravery. Showing the world who you are and what you stand for requires conviction and confidence. Yes, there may be some naysayers. But if you’ve gone through a thorough process and are aligned from the inside-out, your clarity and courage will attract even more of the right people to your cause.
5. Embody what’s next. A brand is a promise, kept. It’s everything you think, say and do. So strategy and design are only the beginning. Now it’s time to let your newfound purpose inspire how you show up across all touch points — from internal structure, operations and culture to external offerings, programs and the entire customer experience.