Today I was reminded of the importance of reflection. Reviewing projects or “a journey” and feeling inspired by the lessons learned. Successes. Failures. Milestones achieved. My son’s year 2 teacher recently described this as the learning dip. Using a graph to depict how you feel throughout a learning process. There is often a low point or dip in the journey before you find yourself up on the other side – having learned something new.
Openbook Howden sponsored the 2016 Food South Australia Food Summit today. I had already identified the session I wanted to hear.
As a non-family executive within a family business and having recently completed a company re-brand, I had circled the program to hear Anthony Paech talk about the re-brand journey of his family business. With Openbook Howden providing the design and production of printed packaging to the food industry, there were several relevant reasons to attend this session.
Hearing Anthony speak, I found myself smiling and nodding regularly as he described the thoughts and feelings he had along the way. Nervous and considerate of the brand that was created by his father. I empathised with his situation as he demonstrated the emergence of the label designs over the years. The reasons for the colour choice. The annoyance of having to include a barcode in 1994. The changes to include a nutrition panel in 2000. All the time carrying through the vision of his father. Nodding also as I have been here for the same label design changes over these years.
And now as a family business who has just undertaken a similar process, it was encouraging to hear the emphasis Anthony placed on the need for the employees to know what the company does. Why they are there and what their point of difference is. At the time that our consultant, Lowen Partridge, insisted we start our re-brand with the very important process of establishing our Brand Identity, I think it would be fair to say I felt frustrated by this delay. I knew it would be a big task and it would slow the process down.
Reflecting on the activities over the last 12 months, we now feel very proud of the results of this process. Not only is our new brand strong and our brand values clearly defined by our team and clients but we also have a very clear documentation of our point of difference and what we stand for.
As Anthony describes with his own packaging design, the strong use of simple design, white spaces and bold, clear, honest stories reflected in our case, through photography, communicate concisely who we are and what we do.
There were so many reflections listening to Anthony including brand management, employee culture, leadership, marketing and graphic design…even a little customer service lesson.
While I attended as a sponsor and marketer, my biggest personal take-out from being present at this session was the power of reflection and acknowledging the importance of the entire journey of a project – successes and failures – overall contributing to leadership, growth…and a strong brand!