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We built a brand remotely in a week – here is what we learned
This is how we launched a non-profit organisation and cause brand in just one week, with nothing but spare time, branding skills and a desire to build a movement the world needs right now. In this blog we’ll take a look at what it took to build wearesometime.org and we’ve rounded up some of our learnings along the way.
Learning 1: When brainstorming for ideas, six brains are better than one
Just over five days ago, at the start of what would be a testing week, six of us got together remotely to have a hangout call as we often do. However this time it was only ever going to be a meeting about one thing. Dare I say it for the millionth time this month, the Covid-19 pandemic. We each sat down and took stock of what issues the pandemic was raising for our clients and what this all meant for Notepad.
I’m sure many organisations around the world have had similar sorts of meetings, and many people we know have unfortunately lost their jobs or been ‘furloughed’ indefinitely. We wanted to make sure that our main hustle, Notepad Studio came out of this as strong as we entered into it. We have been going from strength to strength recently, by hitting our monthly revenue targets and if there was ever a time to tackle something like this head on, then now would be the best time to do it.
The implications of the downturn in work was already being experienced across the board, and this made us rise up and wise up. Notepad still has some billed work on the go and we will have a few client projects coming live soon. Yet in a period like this anything can change at the blink of an eye and it would be unwise to be lured into a false sense of security. As work was already generally slowing, we wanted to act before it was too late.
Creativity starts and ends at home now. We wanted to help creatives sitting idle at home, make good use of their spare time.
Learning 2: We had many great ideas, but there was only ever one cause worth fighting for
We began to explore what we could do to make best use of the billed-for time and of course all the free time that would be coming our way. The brief was simple. Is there anything we do as a team to keep us motivated? What can we do to help our clients ride this one out? And What could we do to help people losing jobs and out of work; such as creative freelancers?
Before not too long we had a healthy list of ideas for what Notepad Studio could do as a team to keep our creative brains ticking over. Many were very trivial tasks and others felt like meaty projects we could all get stuck into. In a time where creativity is needed more than ever before, many businesses were cutting expenses and streamlining. We noticed lots of businesses letting their creatives go and we could not live with that.
Many of us have worked as freelancers before and we know that often the best ideas to solving problems come from people outside the business. It was clear to us that we could help by building a brand and simple platform that connected creatives with time to spare and essential service organisations that needed a helping hand. In effect our platform would be creating jobs for creatives and solving some of the biggest challenges emerging from the unfolding pandemic.
We aimed to create a community for creatives and essential service businesses, accessible anywhere.
Learning 3: Spare time can actually be a blessing in disguise for organisations right now
This mission has truly inspired us. It’s a side hustle with a big idea and a strong purpose. As a participant in the process, I could really feel the team getting behind this idea. All of a sudden this had legs of its own and our challenge of building a brand in a week got underway.
We quickly got building a brand, in our spare time by fitting it in and around other projects. Together we created something that the world needs and that everyone at Notepad now enjoys working on. It reminds us each day why Notepad was founded in the first place. It also helps us see this period of time, not as a hindrance but rather a time to experiment and challenge ourselves to be different, and to be a better kind of different.
We set out to do some research, find a name, write a strategy and design an identity and messaging system that would bring it to life. A few days on from completion and sign off, we have successfully and collaboratively launched Notepad’s first side non-profit business and cause brand.
After a long team brainstorm session, Josh, our designer, started sketching out some initial ideas and design mockups.
Learning 4: As a team we can achieve anything that we set our minds to
We explored what we most enjoyed about the process, what we struggled with both as a team and individually, what we learned along the way and finally what we are looking-forward to as our young Sometime brand matures and this new community grows. Here is a blog we wrote to gather together all our experiences in building the Sometime brand.
The Sometime brand was born after a series of collaborative meetings. Here is some of the early collateral we created to help push the brand online.
Learning 5: It doesn’t always have to be about money, free time is a powerful currency too
Unlike so many businesses in this time who have sought to pivot their business model to make money, we have set out to make spare time pay for creatives and creativity to help save the day. We aim to make a difference for the many, not the money. We have set out to put time in the hands of those who need it most. Sometime is a non-profit platform that is helping creatives to use their spare time effectively to solve Covid-19 related problems faced by charities and essential service organisations.
We created a website with two call to actions (form sign ups). One for those with time to spare and another for those organisations in need of creative support. The response has been outstanding.
Learning 6: Successful home working comes down to good communication and trusting in each other’s abilities.
The biggest challenge in working from home is that no matter how often you talk, nothing can never replicate being in the same room together. This is a challenge some might face more often than others but in most cases if there aren’t good communication protocols in place and trust in each other then the process will be slower and far less enjoyable over all. What we created in a week is testament to how well we work together and
At Notepad studio, we have always worked remotely. Ever since our company’s first day of founding and up until now we have worked semi-remotely on all our client projects. Some projects have even been done completely remotely. And so for us all this was just another project from an operational standpoint, but from a personal standpoint we were building something common to all, from the ground up, together and for the many and not the money.
The Sometime platform serves as a call to action to all the creatives with to time spare and skills to share with organisations around the world, on the front line, fighting to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic.
In conclusion: Use your time wisely by making a positive difference in the world
At a time when the world needs creativity more than ever before, freelancers and creative professionals are being put on hold. Sometime helps creatives use their spare time to solve the biggest problems that have emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic. This is not a time to stand alone, but a time to come together to use time, creativity and expertise to solve problems.
Visit: www.wearesometime.org for more information.