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GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | Seattle

GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | New York

Seeds of Compassion | The Kirlin Foundation

It’s interesting to note, sometimes, how entrepreneurs look at the premise of their enterprise as being, fundamentally, operational and transactional. There are literally thousands of businesses that operate otherwise, but I find that — in the line of query, exploring brand promise, leader’s visioning, traits that are admired, that sometimes the executive ring is C ring – is focused on and circling around profit, driving down costs and working on growth — as, in many instances, investors expect. “Your company’s gotta grow, because that’s how I’m making my money back”. And of course people are concerned about that. And surely I’m concerned about that, but less so as I get older. And I am older. I’m approaching 55 (next year). What might be the point — to this strategic and tactical configuration? “What we want to do is position the company so we can sell it, IPO is our focus; that’s where we are going.”

But the fascination that I’ve got is all the brand dimensions that will grow and deepen the business in the person(al), the story and how brand storytelling will reach to an audience, a guest, a visitor, a client, a patient. And the relationship(s) therein. What web we weave in the realm of these threads — people are brands, they create them and they are created for humans (that’s it). And humans create brands to link to other people; those brands will work, or not work, based on the presumption of a relationship. Relationships work on the connection of emotions. That is – “I resonate with this “brand”, I believe this story, this telling I can relate to, I’ll try | buy it”. The psychic webbing of how that works is something to explore deeply, later…I can’t say, per se, that I will ever know how precisely the chemistry works. No one does. But, I have a sense about it, being a person. And what works, and what doesn’t. Many profess the quantifiable connection — but few know the holistic configurations. Many, that is, know the parts of the connections and connectivity, but less so the holistic packaging to how these components create relationships, stickiness and sales.

To say it’s a complex interweaving is just the beginning. The layers of how you relate to something, anything — how you relate to a person –are about memory and association, warmth, relevance, scent, touch and visual connection. That might align with the idea is that the person is a kind of product. The human, as a package. Not so. What I’m offering, instead, is that making emotional connections — with a person to a person, with a person to a service, with a person to a space, an environment — with a person to a brand, there are deep links that are complexly psychological. That is, they are psychic, not merely physic.

But brand storytelling supports the premise that people relate to brands on the promise that the story is a way for people to connect. I tell you a story about me, you know me better. And you might like me, or you might not. But that immediately deepens the connection. It either advances, or its disconnected.

The work that we did for Dan Kranzler, Sally Kranzler, Ron Rabin and the team at Kirlin Foundation was, in a way, about finding the story to tell the story. Finding the heart and the art — the pulsing centerpoint — of the brand. Dan and his team at Kirlin have been working for years on the exploration and focused advancement of children — the growing, the teaching of them. How that experience might be embraced and evolved, constructively, in a new manner. How can childhood learning be made better, learning deeply advanced — and finally, how can children learn to be more compassionate? How can we change the world in the growing of a more passion-giving, passion-feeling, passion-connecting new planetary citizens? Compassion, is, in fact, about being with pain, relating to the pain of others – with pain, pathos, the empathic link between people. Dan’s proposition, as founder, is about creating a new generation of children that are more capable of connecting to the condition of others; people who relate, supportively, to others.

We worked with Dan Kranzler’s team, Kirlin, Early Learning, other participants that know the spirit of the idea, the work. But in a way, this story is different — for one, the work that we’ve done on this, at Girvin, is pro bono. And two, the branding development methodology is about finding the heart; it’s about the human brand, it reaches to the locus of how we think, how we act, in the context of branding human and humanitarian initiatives.

The real point is about finding the heart which is at the center of the story, what emotions, what spirit, reside there. And ultimately, given these elements — knowing these — how does that network outwardly to message, to visualization.

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We never do any of this alone — any branding exercise is about finding the right spot, but that has to be found in a team context. So we do that work, that exploration, with a team. Our team, the clients, their teams — and we use our catalog of evolving tools to guide, explore, ideate and build strategy, message, forms of expression and stylistic intention.

So here are some of the pages, some of the explorations, that lead us to understanding what the Seeds of Compassion event could be.

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Having come to these points of outcome, learning what we did, it then became a matter of finding the right ideas, the right ideals, for how to represent this thinking. And for me, this became the gesture of the planting itself, rendered in a way, like a mudra. In either eastern or western traditions, the mudra is a kind of hand “arrangement” of fingers and palms, or wrists and arms that can express something of that idea — teaching, opening, grounding, danger…A mudra can be just that — “stop”! Or…”come”!

To explore the idea of the mudra, we considered working with the gestures of interweaving, entwining, containment, the object cupped in protection…These are symbols of seeding — nurturing, containing, cultivation. Here are some of the gestures that we considered

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We finally settled on this gesture — this mudra:

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From there, it was a matter of exploring just how the mudra might be connected to a process of unfolding and human growth. What colors, what details, what arrangements?

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Here are the final selected pages and images that relate to the completed mark — and the kick off for the Seeds of Compassion, here with, begins now.

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