At New Kind, I call myself a brand explorer. I do research to better understand brand perceptions and use data to craft brand strategies and stories. I’m also a yogini. I practice regularly on my own and teach classes every week (including a short weekly session at the New Kind office)! The more I delve into these two seemingly different disciplines, the more I find unexpected parallels between the power of yoga and the value people get from the branding process.
Yoga is popular these days and the benefits are increasingly well-known. Most people who come to class for the first time are interested in becoming stronger or more flexible, or to decrease their stress levels. But the real fun begins when students commit to a regular practice. Of course it becomes easier to push into downward dog and to touch their toes. They feel calmer after each class. But there’s something more.
With time, people begin to sense an inner shift. They become more in tune with their senses—drawing personal wisdom from the physical body, even outside of class. They learn to have more control over the thoughts that pass through their minds. Their intuition is stronger. They open up to opportunities they wouldn’t have seen otherwise. They feel better in their own skin. The tangible, extrinsic benefits that drew them to yoga become a pathway to personal transformation.
I’ve found that something similar happens when we work on branding projects with our clients. Organizations come to New Kind seeking an updated messaging strategy, a new website, or a refreshed logo—all powerful elements that help bring a brand to life. So we do the research. We write. We prototype, design, and we test creative concepts. It’s thrilling to arrive at that final tangible brand deliverable. But what I notice is that, during the process of working together, clients realize the true value of the journey it takes to get there.
For us, the most lasting deliverables aren’t necessarily the traditional products of a branding project. Our mission is to bring people together to share in the adventure of creating the future. Though it may seem vague without context, I think it does a good job of capturing our love of, and dedication to, the process.
Because part of creating a great brand is ensuring the people behind the brand are aligned, inspired, and empowered to take the brand forward. Our process is designed to promote collaboration with all stakeholders, including internal teams and external community members. We facilitate exercises to clarify the company vision and positioning. We unearth internal conflicts in a healthy way, and help open teams to new ways of working together. Together we discover new opportunities for the brand to grow.
Committing to a new yoga program or a branding project means committing to a journey toward transformation. Regular yoga practice aligns body, mind, and spirit. Creating a new brand for your organization means aligning not only how the brand looks, sounds, and acts, but joining the brand community around a common vision for the future.
Within both disciplines, the most powerful outcomes aren’t necessarily the most obvious. With an open mind and a commitment to the process, you might achieve deeper, more lasting change than you could have imagined.