While working as Creative Director at Seedbed, we determined that while our daily email and podcast series, The Seedbed Daily Text, was still enjoying high engagement through open rates, there had been a slowdown in new subscribers, with an overall lack of clear vision on the mission of the podcast, and how to grow its subscriber base by 5x or 10x. With almost 10 years of daily contact with readers, there was a tremendous amount of passion for the brand, so we didn’t enter the process lightly.
A few branding problems were clear: 1. To start, the name was misleading on a few levels – The Seedbed Daily Text was neither exclusively about Seedbed nor was it delivered via text; 2. The name said nothing unique about what the daily entries were actually ABOUT, and the generic terms meant we were constantly hearing from longtime customers who referred to it as “The Daily Seedbed” or “The Seed of the Day” or something similar; and 3. While the simple type and monochrome color palette had initially felt unassuming and simple, it had begun to feel sterile and and uninspired, especially considering the content.
Based on the author’s central theme of awakening each day to a fuller, richer life (and with each morning’s entry releasing at 5:00 am), I had been hinting at renaming the series to the so-simple-it-just-might-work name “The Wake-Up Call” for several months.
After assembling and formally presenting a full list of potential names, the initiative leaders quickly agreed with the original suggestion.
After some early sketches, I led a small team including members from the resourcing and marketing teams to formalize the chief value proposition of the initiative, and used internal and external survey data to solidify our target audience, tone of voice, and more.
Taking all of those factors into consideration, I entered the design phase determined to avoid cliched references like phones, roosters, alarm clocks, etc, and instead focus on simple forms that would allow for a broad visual language across a variety of collateral pieces as the brand new.
After early explorations, we determined that we didn’t want to rely solely on a wordmark, but wanted a specific icon to paire with the typography. After a second follow-up round, we settled on a simple icon of a sun rising over a book (or mountain or dove, depending on what you see first).
Once the main brand identity was settled, I began work first on our e-mail template, as that was our chief point of contact with readers. From there I built a simple style guide for our marketing and creative teams to use that allowed us to build out dozens of social media templates, along with print and promotional pieces.
Ulltimately we prepared a far bigger ecosystem for the Wake-Up Call and all of its related entities, that resulted in significant subscriber growth, increased ROI, and stronger reader engagement.