We all know that moment when we open up the closet, flip through the hangers, and realize we’ve been wearing the same thing for the past seven years. Once upon a time, those faded clothes were you. But now? Well, they don’t really represent who you’ve grown to be. It’s time to go shopping for a new wardrobe, which can be a daunting task. At the mall, you might notice the “in” clothes, the ones that everyone is wearing. You might try them on, but they’re just not you. You need some assistance.
Folks from Sedona Learning Solutions, expert educators in electronic health record (EHR) training, recently found themselves searching for a new brand wardrobe. Their current brand no longer fit who they were, and current trends don’t speak to their essence either. This is where we come in – to help them find the look and feel that actually embodies their values and services.
What We Heard
We began to tackle the brand refresh by listening to what the Sedona team had to say. We conducted several surveys that focused on internal and external perception, as well as language around service offerings. One particular prompt asked that the Sedona team, consultants, and clients identify five words describing Sedona Learning Solutions.
What We Saw
After collecting all of the responses, we dissected the feedback into bite-sized pieces – giving each yummy bit of data its own sticky note. While sorting through the data, The Five Words Exercise proved to be incredibly valuable. Through it, we were able to see how Sedona wanted to be perceived by consultants and clients, and how these audiences actually perceived Sedona (and guess what?...the responses matched up pretty well!).
By extracting the data this way, we were able to push words around. We sorted the words looking for trends and searching for differences. Interestingly enough, we found that the most common responses fell on a spectrum. The data showed that Sedona's audiences treat each other as family (indicating warmth and transparency), yet maintain a high level professionalism and innovative experience (indicating educational and sterile environments). The data also showed Sedona’s level of commitment to both its clients and its contractors (alluding to a strong and firm mentality), as well as the ability to be understanding (indicating flexibility and human quality).
Interesting stuff, right?
So our challenge was to rebrand Sedona in a way that was both familial and professional. How could we visually portray both a sense of commitment and understanding? To help us with this issue, we decided to take these two “juxtapositions” and turn them into a giant matrix.
What We Envisioned
In order to transform Sedona’s words into visual brand elements, we rummaged through a pile of magazines searching for any typography, imagery, iconography, or color that we felt represented the four words at the opposite ends of the matrix. After finding and discussing all of these elements, we placed the stronger, more communicative elements toward the center and the not-so-good elements toward the outside.
Yes, it’s a bit messy. But looking closely, trends emerge from the center of the magazine montage. For instance, you may notice similarities in color depending on the quadrant (the lower left quadrant shows blues and greens while the right quadrants show more yellows and neutrals). Or perhaps you notice differences in type (left quadrants show more sans serif fonts while serifs and slab-serifs appear more in the right quadrants). GAME TIME: How many trends can you find?
We took these trends and created several different moodboards. One moodboard had an overall tone that was sophisticated, warm, professional, and excellent, while the other appeared more friendly, cool, natural, and observant.
What We Ended Up With
After viewing the two moodboard options, we worked with Sedona to come up with one combined, final board. This board then influenced a set of living, breathing guidelines for the Sedona brand – guidelines that more accurately spoke to the essence of the team and clients. Also included in the guidelines were:
- A refinement of the Sedona logo
- Examples of brand do’s and don’ts
- A messaging strategy featuring client and consultant mantras and practical uses
Now that we’ve updated their closet, get ready to see Sedona Learning Solutions strutting their new kicks. We’re moving on to a website redesign, and it’s pretty spiffy.