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The Essence of Who We Are

A little more than a month ago we shared that we’ve started an exciting new (re)branding exercise with a NYC-based agency that’s done some really great work over the past few weeks!

And, per our modus operandi, I wanted to share with you some of the results of our collaboration, thus far.

Note: This is all in draft form right now and nothing that you’ll see is close to being final or signed-off, at least at this point.

At the very least I wanted to show you some of the work and give you a few candid thoughts as we walk through the process together.


A few of the high-level goals.

There are a lot of exciting projects in our space and the entire ecosystem, by some accounts, is expanding faster than some of the previous technological innovations that you and I are very well-versed in now, like the rise, growth, and adoption of the internet:

We use this in our Pitch Deck!

This meta-level movement is one of the chief reasons that I resigned from my previous company to start working in this community and culture! I had felt like I had “missed the boat” on a few other earlier movements (e.g. internet, mobile, social, video) and I didn’t want to miss this one completely.

A Visual Audit

The next section that TWA built for us was a visual deconstruction of many of the larger players in the space and a bit of a breakdown of where we might sit, relative to them.

I particularly like these types of charts, especially since I’m very much a visual processor:

Playful + Minimal is about right.

The way that it’s been broken down is as follows:

  • Minimal: Paired back design utilizing large amounts of white space and unobtrusive graphic devices.
  • Intricate: Detailed visuals and graphic devices. Less white space and more crowded designs.
  • Corporate: The design is rooted in a tech/banking/corporate world. The tone of voice is more straightforward and serious.
  • Playful: The tone and visual style is quirky and fun. Stronger focus on people and emotions.
  • Where YEN Could Sit: The least crowded quadrant is between minimal and playful.

Pretty neat, right? It’s pretty clear that we’re a playful bunch, with community-generated mascots like The Yenicorn!

The next section they spent time diving into our story as a company and project and they’ve been able to really capture some of the core elements of who we are and what we stand for.

In particular, I really liked the initial direction and gist of what TWA is calling our Brand Essence statement – take a look:

The heart and soul!

I’d really love your feedback on this statement because landing on that timeless quality that’ll make sense to not only our amazing community today but that will also resonate deeply with the future generations to come, tomorrow!

Cultivate the conversations of the future. Communities drive innovation. We are building a platform that promotes and supports the growth of this unique community of pioneers.

A Draft of YEN’s Brand Essence

I’m so grateful for the work that our partner agency is doing and for @clay and @james who are leading the project! We hope to have most of our process complete by Q4 of this year – we will share more when it becomes available!

It’s impossible to not love her.