When Emily Waugh of Peaceful Connections shared her mission to use massage therapy to help the elderly population in her community, I just knew we had to work together. She had a vision of providing both physical comfort and emotional companionship to a group of people who often feel forgotten and ignored. Who suffer both from physical ailments and social isolation.
I could see how passionate she was about working with this group of people. Her sincerity and genuine care beamed in every word she spoke. I could tell her work was already impacting many and I wanted to help her expand that even more.
Emily had been working in massage therapy for years and had started building her business on the side. She’d already gained several contracts with assisted living facilities and had seen a lot of interest in her town.
But even though she wholeheartedly believed in this work, and even though she was starting to get more and more attention, she felt insecure about approaching more people because her graphics weren’t helping her make the best first impression.
She wanted to grow this side project into a full-time business and gain enough contracts with assisted living facilities to be able to focus on it exclusively. I was glad to help her gain clarity around her brand and set her up with graphics she could finally feel confident in so she could grow her passion business.
Defining the Brand
We started by using the Brand Clarity Workbook and coaching calls to define the Peaceful Connections brand. Together, we defined the Emily’s brand story and ideal client:
Emily Waugh of Peaceful Connections supports older adults through the aging process using sensitive massage to alleviate physical discomforts, increase relaxation, and provide companionship.
She believes that all life is sacred and that older adults especially should be treated with reverence and respect. Her compassionate and heart-centered approach goes beyond alleviating physical discomfort and leaves her clients feeling heard, valued, and enlivened.
Her mission is to help give the older adult population their voice back and shine a light on their joy, wisdom, and value. She wants to lead by example and inspire others to see their humanity and treat them with greater reverence and empathy, all while improving their physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
Emily’s ideal client is the older woman living in a long-term care facility. She raised a large family and has several grandchildren, but she spends most of her time with her friends and facility staff. She is humble and down-to-earth, loving and attentive. She finds joy in the little things and always tries to make the best of things.
Because of her ideal client’s living arrangements and stage in life, Emily had to reach her through other people. We decided to include them in her ideal client profile, too:
In order to reach this ideal client, Emily first has to create a relationship with the ideal client’s facility director and family. Her services are offered through long-term care facilities and are usually purchased and arranged by family members.
Emily’s ideal facility director is passionate about her work and genuinely cares about providing the best service for her residents. She’s constantly looking for ways to implement innovative ideas that will improve the lives of those in her care and feels fulfilled when she’s had a good day at work.
Her ideal client’s family lives nearby. They have full lives — their own family, career, and goals. And even though they worry about not being there for their parent enough, there just isn’t enough time in the day. They take comfort in knowing their parent is provided for financially and well-taken care of.
Next, we talked about the types of businesses she wants to fit in with and stand apart from to define her place in the market:
Emily wants Peaceful Connections to fit in with other businesses that are wholeheartedly devoted to caring for seniors. They are warm, compassionate, and optimistic in an authentic and genuine way. They treat their clients with reverence and a deep understanding of the role they’re playing in people’s lives.
She wants to stand apart from large companies that care about profitability more than their clients or ethical standards. Her first priority is the people she’s serving and she provides a high-quality individualized service that truly betters the lives of her clients and flows from her heart.
Emily’s biggest goal for Peaceful Connections was to build relationships in her niche, gain contracts with assisted living facilities, and nurture the one-on-one connection she had with her clients.
Together, we decided that a business card, social media templates, and a one-page website would be the most helpful. This help her make the right first impression with her ideal client’s caretakers and family while providing the most important information and legitimizing the business.
Setting the Direction
Once her Brand Foundation was in place, we got to work on Tone and Values boards to start translating all the abstract concepts we’d been talking about into visuals.
The tone words we chose for Peaceful Connections are: uplifting, nurturing, compassionate, open, and warm. I put a collection of images together for each word to guide the first conversation about a visual direction.
To summarize her brand message, we chose a handful of value words. Humanity, connection, wellness, peace, and joy summed up the deeply rooted beliefs that Emily was building her business on.
I could already see a how a muted color palette and soft lines could create the feeling of warm, calming support Emily was bringing her clients. Keeping that in mind, I created a few Style Boards to show her some different directions we could take with her graphics.
A board that combined dark blue and gold patterns with clean fonts was the perfect match. Emily felt that the rich, elegant look would appeal to her ideal client as well as her family and caretakers. The color scheme would inspire trust and communicate professionalism while the lines and typography would balance that with softness and warmth.
Designing the Brand Building Blocks
With her Brand Foundation and a direction in place, I headed into the studio to start putting the actual graphics together.
Because Emily’s work is all about people and connection, I started by playing with organic loops and shapes that played on those themes. Also, Emily had spoken passionately about being the light in a place of darkness. That led me to draw inspiration from the lines and curves inside light bulbs too.
But these shapes alone felt incomplete. I played around a little more and found that if I copied and rotated one of the loops I’d drawn, I could create a flower-like shape that instantly communicated connection with a warm and optimistic tone.
I worked on polishing that shape and paired it with a slightly modern-looking sans serif font with rounded edges that matched the soft lines in the icon.
For the color palette, I was careful to choose a blue that was deep enough to create that slightly elegant feel we were after, but not so deep that it overshadowed the warm and uplifting parts of the brand. I chose a light gold tone to balance out the darkness of the blue and help lighten everything.
Then, I used the original loop shape from the flower icon and chose an additional tone of each color to create a repeating monochromatic pattern in each hue. The pattern created more playful lines and shapes that brought some of the uplifting and open tones back into the graphics.
I went with a friendly slab serif for the headline font to help keep things light and inviting. Readability was a big concern for Emily’s ideal client, so I made sure to pick something that would be easy to see and look good in larger sizes. Then I chose a simple modern sans serif for accents and large blocks of text. It was light and easy to read, plus it contrasted well with the headline font.
Emily’s business card needed to be super easy to read. We kept the information on it to a minimum so that we had enough room to make the text larger. I went ahead and added a thank-you card so that Emily could make an even greater impression with this additional touch.
I also created a few different social media layouts that could be easily customized and changed around as needed. The variation would keep her feeds from looking overly predictable and gave her options so she could choose whichever layout worked best for each particular post.
For her website, I chose light airy photos that conveyed the warm and welcoming tone of the brand and drew from her ideal client’s real-life surroundings. I made sure to keep the layout balanced to create a sense of peace and calm. And, of course, I made sure the text was all large enough to be easily read.
The Brand Clarity + Intentional Design process helped Emily feel a renewed sense of faith in her own work and impact on her community. It kept the fire within her alive as she navigated several business upgrades and helped her stick to her commitment to take her things to the next level.
At the end of our time together, Emily had brand graphics she loved and felt confident in. Her new website was live and she had the print materials she needed to make a great first impression in person.
The new branding Lilly created allowed for work that didn’t quite match my business goals to fall away to make space for new partnerships that were better aligned.
With a fresh logo, business cards, and website, I sought out new clients with more confidence. With this, the business has increased in vitality and gained clientele that truly benefit from the work. All in all, a success!!
Now, Emily is doing more of the work she wants to do and actively taking steps to grow a business that truly helps build up a community that is in so much need.
Lilly made the process of rebranding seamless and smooth! Everything was broken down into manageable steps that enabled me to get a clearer vision of the core values that underscore my business to move forward confidently with that clear vision in mind.
I would say if you have a business that you want to take to the next level with the utmost integrity and cohesion, Lilly is excellent at listening to your ideas and creating designs that best represent the heart of the business to put your best foot forward.