In a meme or in conversation, the phrase “We all have that one friend who…” is always followed by a generally accepted commonality. For example, we could fill in: is always late, makes “dad” jokes, is the “mom” of the friend group. The main point is that something about that friend stands out and communicates a certain theme. Brand identity isn’t much different. When you take a step back and think of any social enterprise, volunteer group, or organization you participate in, can you immediately describe the brand identity? If it’s not clear to you, maybe the brand needs to refine it’s personal style.
In this series, called ALL Ways, we’ll grow to know social enterprises by their charming points. We say “charming” to refer to branding and approaches that help us see another way to manage social entrepreneurship. We’ll also suggest ways to interact or use these charming points in our own involvements with social enterprise (personally and professionally).
This post is an outside observation of a company for inspiration in social enterprise interaction and engagement.
In today’s post, we look into the design-savvy Modern Species evolving brand identities for sustainable businesses. Modern Species offers physical and digital design services to form a consistent brand in alignment with sustainable practices.
Knowing the Company: Modern Species
Modern Species evolves brands with their talent of strategic branding and responsible graphic design. Most work they take on is primarily focused on “forward-thinking organic and natural products companies”. Services can be provided to growing businesses or established businesses as long as the company holds a commitment to sustainability.
This initiative boasts of being a collaborative partner in the process. Long story short, you bring your expertise and Modern Species brings their expertise together to represent your company‘s brand well. Responsible design for good businesses supports environmentally conscious companies and environmentally conscious consumers. On the page introducing the design studio, Modern Species emphasizes their perspective of upholding a new positive standard in business:
“…. we think good business should be the only business.”
Among their services, Modern Species can handle a variety of projects (once again, this can be physical or digital.) A few examples include designing identities, brochures, websites, and packaging.
What Surprised Us
Physical and digital design aspects handled under one roof? That sounds like a great deal. Upon first look, Modern Species could seem like a company that only handles very specified design projects. Luckily, they are flexible enough to stretch their services into a company’s digital realm. Social enterprises do need a consistent brand to communicate to their audience. Marketing and brand awareness can cause resistance for initiatives if it is not clear, consistent, and in alignment with their official mission. Modern Species collaborates in a way that ties the physical and digital assets of a brand together more cohesively.
Speaking of brand identity, this also includes tone. Modern Species, being a brand design company, makes sure to use personality in their web copy. It is only natural that they also help social enterprises refine their tone of communication. Interestingly, Modern Species uses a tone similar to “we’re super committed to getting things done, and we expect that you have the same level of commitment” rather than “we believe in a better future, and we want to explore how to possibly get there together”. Neither is better but does bring up a less thought about the point.
You may find that some people are more of the “practical” type of communicator rather than leaning on “emotion”. This counts for both the sender and the receiver of the communication. A “practical” tone can be a contrast to social impact communications built on heavy emotions, romanticism, or toxic positivity. Modern Species having a somewhat “practical” tone shows that not everyone needs to communicate in a certain tone to be part of the community of social impact.
It’s possible that certain tones resonate more with one person and not another. With that being said, if you do take a more light-hearted and sentimental approach, you are also charming! Your tone reaches and resonates with a specific audience that is also needed in the social impact. Emotions and practicality can live in the same space.
What is the benefit for good
Beyond support for sustainable businesses, this initiative adds extra layers of impact to hold themselves to the standard they are so passionate about. Listed on the Ethos page, the initiative mentions how they proactively increase their company’s sustainability footprint. The page talks about employee benefits, company equipment, how they choose who to work with, and how they work with the next generation of designers. Below is one of the points listed:
“We use energy-efficient equipment, biodegradable cleaning products, low-VOC furniture made from renewable materials. We’re also wind-powered and recycle/compost our waste.”
Modern Species amplifies their sustainability footprint as well as the footprint of other companies. Some bands they work with include Yum Butter and Alter Eco. Print and packaging projects connect businesses to renewable and low waste solutions. Any projects related to digital products aim to reduce energy and carbon impact. Services in print, web design, signage and packaging from Modern Species allows social enterprises to truly show up in the mission of social impact.
We like to encourage actively participating with positive initiatives. Each person making their own choice to participate adds up! Whether you engage for fun, inspiration, or expression, here are our suggestions for engaging this initiative:
People Helping People Podcast is seeking methods clearly supporting an effective impact. Observations and discussions on happenings in the social enterprise community is a significant part of our contribution to social good. Continue to check in for more conversation-starting content.
Relevant podcast episodes:
- House of Eden Studio Markets Social Enterprise Services with Rachel Whitworth
- Katherine Ann Byam of Dieple Helps Companies Transition to Sustainability
- Joe DeLoss of Hot Chicken Takeover Magnifies Impact with an Iterative Mindset
Relevant blog posts:
- 5 Meaningful Tips to Create Authentic Conversations and Develop Connections
- ALL Ways: Stage Six Scales Social Impact Locally, Nationally, and Globally with Social Franchise