Written By
Sara McGuyer
August 10, 2015
Posted In

Who are we, anyway?

August 10, 2015

This Factory Week we decided to ask the question, Who are we, anyway? as part of our Discovery process. While we know we want to end up (eventually!) with a new website, and potentially some other brand extensions, we wanted to pull back and ask the big questions we would ask of any client. No cutting corners. So, Who are we anyway?

It had been several years since we revisited our brand tone and personality. Back when we chose our brand facets, we hadn't developed all of the methods we use today. In February of this year, we Kickstarted the Brand Deck, a fun tool to help sort out brand traits. We hadn't yet used it on ourselves, but this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Elizabeth and Dawn sorting our brand deck

The Brand Deck has a few category cards –
You are...
You are not...
You are torn.
Does not apply.

The remaining cards have two distinct and opposite words, like Refined or Raw, for example. The idea is to choose whichever word you have the strongest gut reaction to and sort it into one of the four buckets. It's simple, yet powerful. It helps you quickly understand the connotations and emotions packed into a word, and why it does or does not represent your brand.

To make it collaborative, we have added our own twist. We split the deck up into four smaller piles, and then divided the team into small groups. Each group sorted their section of the deck, then we came back together to hash it out if we disagreed, highlight what resonated most, and cull it all down into a few emergent themes.

Here's what we came up with:

SmallBox brand traits

The interesting thing is that it isn't too different from what lives in our current brand guidelines, which includes:


We might tweak some language, but there's no major overhaul. Some situations call for a full re-brand, but sometimes a small refresh is all that's needed.