Landmark Method Case Study: Mindful Moments
Mindful Moments crafts unique self-care events that connect women inside a safe space so they can pursue growth, discovery, movement, and stillness within their busy lives. The community began when two Austinites, Maggie Miller and Mandy Millican, realized they both had a desire to create a space where women could connect and develop a meaningful self-care practice. Mandy’s work as a wedding planner and yoga instructor showed her just how stressful life can be for everybody – from fellow business owners to the everyday woman. One of Maggie’s core values in life is creating space for others to bloom, which Mindful Moments allows her to do so well.
The pair teamed up with Horton Brand Strategy for the Landmark Method for Branding process, which resulted in a strong, meaningful brand identity, a comprehensive brand book, and lots of business strategy along the way.
Every Landmark Method project starts with the Brand Exploration Kit. This 20+ page workbook contains exercises that guide you through each of the key brand landmarks: Story, Goals, Customer, Offerings Voice. Although we definitely deliver on the graphic design, a strong brand is built on solid strategy. So asking the tough, thought-provoking questions is what the brand exploration process is all about.
“We loved how in-depth the Brand Exploration Kit was! It wasn’t a typical branding questionnaire that asks you for more aesthetic preferences… this was an intensive resource that made us have great conversations and really think through what we wanted Mindful Moments to become. It had us thinking in the long-term about creating a brand from the get-go that we could grow into and continue to expand over the years.“
Setting a Business Vision
After Maggie and Mandy completed this fillable PDF, they sent it back to me for assessment. After I went through all of their work in detail, we scheduled a brand assessment call. During this call, I really dig deep into what you’re working on, whether it’s creating a new brand or growing an established business. I challenge you to put it all out on the table and help you cast a vision for your business over the next few years.
“We totally thought the kickoff call would be just talking about logo development, aesthetics, etc. It was really interesting to go into detail about what we were planning to offer, and how we were going about it all. It definitely made us feel like Caitlin was super invested in what we were creating, rather than just trying to make a pretty logo for us. We felt a lot better to move forward after that call, and felt like she really had a vested interest in creating a brand identity that served a more expanded purpose.”
Working on the Mindful Moments logo was really a joy… and it was one of those rare moments in design where the connections just flowed together perfectly. We developed three strong concepts to present to Maggie and Mandy, and each one expressed a different aspect of the brand. One concept incorporated the idea of moon cycles in two different ways, while another was featured a more organic, handwritten font alongside a modern sans serif for contrast. The one that immediately clicked for the two partners, though, was a concept that really embraced the theme of balance. In the final logo you’ll find many doubled elements – just like the double M’s we find in both Mindful Moments and in the founders’ names.
“I remember getting the notification from Caitlin that logo concepts were ready and eagerly opening up the document. I can’t remember if I texted Mandy or she texted me, but we were quickly on the phone with one another excited and chatting about the different options. This whole process felt incredibly serendipitous because we were both drawn to the logo concept that became our final design. Looking back now, it’s wild to see how precise and accurate Caitlin got on that very first pass.” –Maggie
The diamond in the Mindful Moments logo symbolizes wisdom and clarity that rises above the mundane habits of our lives… just as self care is about helping people learn how to rise above the everyday and find deeper meaning. What I most liked about the diamond, though, is that it represents strength and resiliency, which is what self care builds into its practitioners over time.
Visually, this diamond’s shape corresponds with the bottom of the M’s in Mindful Moments, which look a bit like half diamonds. Doubling the diamond inside itself created a sense of connection, togetherness, and community. The little dot inside is a nod to the brand’s Austin roots. This subtle touch of Southwest vibe ties the brand into place as well as message.
“We had an idea of what we wanted, and you hit the nail right on the head. The brand is a combination of the both of us, and a lot of what we believe in and are drawn to overlaps. We knew we wanted something that felt accessible, encouraging, fresh, and modern. We really feel like the overall brand encompasses that.”
In addition to layering the brand development process with a lot of strategy work, we also do one other thing a bit differently at Horton Brand Strategy. Rather than start the process with a mood board, we explore mood after selecting the logo first. Because each logo concept expresses the brand slightly differently, we feel that doing a mood board first is like getting dressed before you know what kind of event you’re going to. Maggie and Mandy had worked on branding with other designers before, so they were expecting my methods to be a similar type of process.
“Instead of using the moodboard to help define the logo, our moodboard felt like a really precise embodiment of our entire brand. Whereas I think historically mood boards are used to cast a wide net in hopes that the essence is essentially right for the direction, I liked how our mood board came after the logo design. It felt a bit backwards, but in the end I think it did a much better job of solidifying the overall brand feel. It felt like the full package. We trusted the process and in the end everything was truly magical. Caitlin heard what we had to say and created a brand identity for us that was more than we could have ever thought!”
Every Landmark Method for Branding project wraps up with an extensive Brand Book. This is not your run-of-the-mill PDF with brand colors, fonts, and all that. Yes, a brand style guide is certainly included, but our Brand Books are so much more. Although I’m not a very sappy person, the best way I can describe the process of creating a partner’s Brand Book is to say that each one is lovingly and intentionally written. I even find myself smiling a lot as I work on them!
After seeing your entire brand identity come together in the style guide section, you turn to your brand keywords and Statement of Purpose. In this section you’ll find the five brand keywords I selected for you. These are guiding lights as you expand in some areas and focus more narrowly in others. They serve as internal brand values for both you and your employees. They’re also quite useful in developing content marketing that will attract your target audience. I carefully craft a Statement of Purpose for your brand, which you will find here. You can think of it like a mission statement that actually means something. Your Statement of Purpose isn’t full of fluffy language that could belong to any brand. Instead, it’s highly unique to you and tells your ideal customer exactly what you do, who you do it for, and why they need you.
“The Brand Book was so much more than simply a collection of fonts, brand colors, and logo usage. It’s an extensive resource that outlines our goals, ideal customer, potential growth models, and so much more.”
In the next section, each brand landmark gets its moment in the spotlight. You get a done-for-you brand story that illuminates everything your business is for your ideal customer… and a practical bonus is that it’s incredibly easy to copy-and-paste your favorite parts into an About page! Next, you’ll find a vision for your brand’s growth in the next year, three years, and five years. My hope is that you can truly enter into these visions and feel as if you are there each time you review them. The customer section is a colorful, story-driven profile of your ideal customer. You will get to know them in an intimate way that goes way beyond a list of demographic characteristics and their likes and dislikes. Next comes your offerings, in which I describe each way you serve your customer in a focused way that, once again, you can simply copy-and-paste onto your website or sales pages. Finally, we come to your brand voice, which describes in great detail the personality of your brand.
“Not only do we feel much more confident in sharing our work because there is this professional polish to our branding, but we also have a new-found comfort in planning all of our content. Working with Caitlin helped us solidify our goals, our vision, our ideal customer, and now we are even more clear about the content and messages we want to share. She set us on the path for success by asking all of the tough questions that we hadn’t quite thought about yet. She is not only a brand architect, but Caitlin wants your business to succeed. She can’t help but sprinkle in wonderful bits of business strategy that were immensely powerful in how we’re moving forward.”
“We hadn’t thought too much about how this could evolve outside of the monthly event series until our brand exploration kickoff call with Caitlin. Since this is a side project for us, we were being much more near-sighted with our goals. She helped us pull back and see what the potential could be for a long-term sustainable and life-giving project.
The reassurance that we’re doing something important, and the confidence and pride of having a kick-ass logo and aesthetic vision makes you stand a little taller. We feel so passionate about the meaning behind the design and being able to open the Brand Book and look at the vision statements of what Mindful Moments can really be one year, three years, five years from now….that was amazing. We’ll be referencing those often, and using them as fuel to fan the flame!
We’re most excited about seeing how we can grow this passion project of ours and help more and more women who struggle with finding ways to incorporate self-care into their daily lives. We felt like we already had a good idea, but Caitlin helped us think about how to take it to the next level.”