Branding a catalyst for visionary change makers
Extraordinary opportunities from ordinary beginnings
Ann Hiatt has had an extraordinary career. From Executive Business Partner to Jeff Bezos in the very early days of Amazon, to working in step with the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, for over a decade, she has helped build and run these giant organisations through some of their most defining moments. She created the now tech industry standard role of Chief of Staff and continues to educate the community about that role, its importance and how to do it right.
Now, Ann acts as a leadership, transformation and strategy coach, but the job goes deeper. Inspired by visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and the undiscovered CEOs of the future, Ann now consults, speaks and brings her wealth of operational knowledge to the widest possible audience.
We were asked to help her revitalise her brand, redesign her visual identity and pull it all together in a website which would act as a hub for expertise, information and learning.
We started by helping Ann define the purpose that she is working towards. After a glittering career, there is a real drive to help democratise the kind of success that select CEOs have experienced. Taking all that was learnt working in Silicon Valley, Ann has found a way to systemise and operationalise that success and uses this knowledge to help a limited amount of potential Unicorn founders keep their vision in sharp focus.
But the leadership and transformation consultancy is only one strand of Ann's work. There is a cascading focus on up-and-coming entrepreneurs, who have the ability to transform organisations from the inside out. Typically, these "intrapreneurs" will hear Ann speak, and then engage her services to help disrupt organisations which are ripe for significant change.
Finally, a focus on the unrepresented CEOs of the future allows Ann to share knowledge, through best-selling books, her podcast, and the countless pieces of practical advice she publishes on her website and through LinkedIn.
We focussed on the message of inspiration and empowerment of a particular type of leader: the insistent, persistent and resilient change make who won't accept the status quo in their desire to see their vision realised. Whether it's empowering a CEO to shape and optimise their leadership teams, inspiring teams to innovate and disrupt from within, or providing actionable education and mentorship from a distance to unidentified change makers across the world, Ann's work is all about democratising what she's learned, so that others can achieve their life's work.
An identity that represents both person and purpose
Ann's previous identity couldn't support her ambition. Neither did it fully represent her position or her purpose. So, we started from scratch, using the insight and strategy we'd developed in the previous stage of work. We started with creative options to illustrate the effect of Ann's work.
Initial creative routes centred around the concept of catalysis. We investigated how the "A" and "H" could form a mark inspired by dominoes, and the sense that once the first domino falls, the rest will follow, but only if ordered and arranged correctly.
We studied the process and practice of the orchestral conductor, providing order and keeping the many voices and instruments moving together, managing tempo, dynamics and phrasing.
Finally, we settled on perhaps more obvious articulation - the striking of a match - to represent both the spark in Ann's personality and the energy she brings to any engagement. It's also descriptive of her process and the outcome of her work: the kinetic energy of inspiration, order from chaos, and the opportunity to grow exponentially.
The mark is supported by a vibrant colour palette, to reflect the intensity and excitement of Ann's style and personality and a series of usable typographic ornaments. Imagery now communicates what working with Ann is like, rather than being oriented around lifestyle.
“ Working with Salad was incredible. Professional soul searching and deep conversations fully explored my unique offering, and created potent clarity around my personal mission. All of that, and more, crystallised into a brand, visual identity and website which I couldn’t be happier to finally share with the world. I appreciate the special care each and every one involved has given me. Thank you for this experience.”
To support the implementation of the new identity, we created guidelines to ensure consistency in application. And, to make the day-to-day management of the identity easier and more collaborative, we created templates for various social media posts and presentations in Canva. We continue to work with Ann's other partners to help manage the brand moving forward.
A repository of actionable education
We started from scratch with the website brief. Our strategy work indicated an audience comprised of three specific groups. For the visionary CEOs the journey comprises experience gained, allowing leadership teams to verify Ann's professional achievements. For the intrapreneurs and unidentified visionaries, the journey comprises an overview of Ann's speaking schedule and topics, free resources, guides, how-to's, media appearances and reading recommendations.
Mostly, the website allows Ann to stay true to her defining vision:
When we initially started work, Ann's inbox was crammed with under qualified leads and requests for introductions to her Silicon Valley networks. So significant work was put into designing and crafting various contact forms used across the site. As a result, we have reduced the number of random requests and ensured that leads are now better qualified.
Ann and her team have full control of the administration of the website, which allows the rapid deployment of content, resources, details of her published works, and podcast, "Bet on Yourself".
Working hand in hand with social channels, like LinkedIn, the website acts as the destination for all of Ann's content, serving an ever-growing audience of aspiring Chief of Staff and budding entrepreneurs keen to learn from someone with an extraordinary depth of experience.