“Hey, no fair! You have an Actionable sweatshirt?!” My seven-year-old took me by surprise when he recognized the Actionable logo on my new hoodie from a recent team retreat. I have to admit, as a designer, I felt a little surge of pride at his brand recognition.
You can’t look far without bumping into a logo. And while the logo certainly isn’t the only aspect of a brand, it’s an important one. David Airey, author of Logo Design Love, decided to photograph all of the brand identities he interacted with during the beginning of a typical day—he documented 33 logos within 33 minutes! Just doing his normal routine. He later reminds us why brand matters so much:
“The same visual identity seen time and again builds trust, and trust keeps customers coming back for more. It’s kind of like putting a face to a name—logos help people remember their experiences with companies.”
The Actionable Brand 2.0
Late last May, we began the process of a brand refresh here at Actionable. A company with roots deep in the Books universe, our identity and purpose had evolved over the years and continued to rapidly expand into so much more: a global consultant program, conversation offerings, and our Platform. The original bookmark-style logo (which was only meant to be a placeholder from the start) didn’t fit the complexity and multi-faceted nature of the present business. With three new websites on the horizon, it was time for a brand overhaul.
We hired an outside agency, Underline Studio, who took the time to get to know Chris, the history of Actionable, our expansion beyond Books, and how we’re creating real change in the world of work. Underline wrote a brand narrative—essentially an overview of our offering and our unique value in the learning and development space—and from there they began the logo design process.
With the website re-design approaching, it made sense to identify 4 distinct brands: Actionable.co, Actionable Consultants, and Actionable Conversations, and Actionable Books. We set out to create four logos that would embody the spirit of Actionable. We hoped to acknowledge our origins and our fun-but-professional personality, while at the same time creating a new and consistent look—a clear brand—while simultaneously making each property different. No small task!
After thoughtful work by our agency and much deliberating, we happily landed on these final 4 logos.
The overarching company as a whole. The other sub-brands fall under this corporate identity.
The lack of symmetry is a visual reminder of the messy but authentic work we do: Building relationships, driving behavior change, and fostering engagement and business growth. The uneven nature of the bars represents our movement and momentum–our desire to always be moving forward. The three bars represent a stack of books, giving a nod to the book origins of where it all began.
We partner with consultants from around the globe, working together to change the world of work.
Our hope is that this logo is as clear to you as it was to us. The ampersand sits within the “A” because we couldn’t make the impact we do without our phenomenal consulting partners. Actionable AND our partners. We’re in this together.
Monthly conversations are transforming organizations with the help of our Platform.
At the heart of Actionable is our belief in the power of relationships. The quotation marks represent the meaningful Conversations teams are having each month. A new tagline was developed out of the branding exercise and it sums up these regular connection points best: Conversations that matter.
Where and how Actionable began. 1000+ free business book summaries.
If you’ve written or read any of our book summaries, you’re likely familiar with the “golden egg,” aka the one big idea that stuck with the reader. The asterisk within the “A” acknowledges this learning mentality of the Actionable community. It represents those stand-out ideas and the knowledge we gain from books that propel us into action.
Beyond the Logo
A logo is a vital part of the brand but so many aspects contribute to taking the brand to the next, deeper level. Here are some other pieces to the branding puzzle that have helped build and strengthen the Actionable brand:
- Working in the background around this same time, the team was having many conversations about what was most important to us, which led to finalizing our Actionable values—those guiding principles that drive us individually and as a team.
- Shortly after our logos were finalized, our Design and Development team worked tirelessly to create three new websites: Actionable, Actionable Consultants, and Actionable Conversations.
- Along with the launch of the new sites, we introduced three new blogs, pushing out relevant content and letting the Actionable “voice” be heard.
- Our voice and visual presence was further solidified as we made great strides in our social media volume and strategy, with the addition of 7 new social media channels (between Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter). An additional LinkedIn consulting group, Consultants Making a Dent in the 21st Century Workplace, was added early this year.
- We further developed our positioning, building upon what our consultants have shared with us. We continue to refine our messaging in order to best relate to our consultant community, as well as communicate who we are.
As we rapidly approach the one year mark since we started the branding process, we’re happy with our new look. And we’re even more excited to continue sharing it with you—through blog posts, social media, and our real, human interactions. And we’re looking forward to doing more work that matters—together.
What branding efforts have you made to build your business? Stay tuned for a follow-up post geared specifically for consultants and building your brand.