THE DAY HAS FINALLY ARRIVED!
Today marks the official launch of the Sohuis rebrand – and if you couldn’t tell – I’m absolutely freaking out about it.
When I launched Sohuis 2 years ago, I purchased the domain name, had my husband whip up a logo and some basic brand colors, installed a Word Press template, then I launched a landing page within 48-hours. I didn’t even have a contact page, just a simple hyperlink connected to my email. Also, I only had one decent photo that I used over and over again.
The Sohuis Story
I remember telling a small group of friends and colleagues about the idea for my business 2 years ago, and I remember how daunting it felt to launch something totally from scratch – again. As I sit here and reflect on this new logo, my heart fills with gratitude to see the evolution of the brand enter into this new phase. For those who do not know, I created Sohuis for a fairly simple reason: to be able to creative and cultivate the life I wanted for myself and my family. I was sort of forced into entrepreneurship about 8 years ago after having my corporate job eliminated, and it was through this transition that I found out that my heart and soul belonged to the entrepreneurial community. Jokingly, I tell everyone that I’m a terrible employee – but all joking aside, it’s true. While I always succeeded in my roles, I just never quite fit in. I always did things slightly outside the line because they simply made more sense to me. I was the disruptor, the fiery personality with all of the ideas, and the perpetual rocker of boats. I questioned process and slow innovation, and at the end of the day, I had a really hard time boxing myself in to someone else’s idea of who I was supposed to be and how I was supposed to act.
Then when I became a mom in 2016, all bets were off. My journey through motherhood revealed to me that our working culture is not prepared, nor does it truly have the support system in place, for working parents, especially mothers. Yes, there are a lot of incredible companies who are addressing this head on and have restructured their culture accordingly, but these companies are the exception to the rule.
I created Sohuis because I knew that my experience and ideas were worthy, all I simply had to do was start. One step in front of the other, just start. So that’s what I did. I took a bunch of side jobs, got up at 4am when my daughter was very little to give myself quiet time to tackle client work, and I put myself out there and actively participated in cultivating meaningful relationships with like-minded founders, innovators, do-ers, and thinkers. About 4 months ago, I chose to dedicate my time and energy into ONE marketing channel that I could own and truly serve, which turned out to be Instagram, and I have since grown my followers by 465% through those efforts. Most recently, I closed a beta program for the launch of my new online course, the Sohuis Startup Blueprint, with over 75 people, with plans to roll out the first course launch in Q1 of next year. (Hell ya!)
So, as you can imagine, this rebrand means a lot more to me than just an updated, fancy logo. It personifies that my initial vision to create and cultivate the life I want for myself and my family is actually unfolding. I still have a lot of work to do, and much further to go, but this rebrand represents the coming of age era for Sohuis. And I hope you enjoy the new brand as much as I do.
Lucy, The Elephant in the Room
Here’s a question I get a lot, “What does the elephant mean?” Well, let me tell you! I speak more about it here, but in short, the elephant (who I named Lucy) represents the many values I hold dear to my heart and actively pursue in everything that I do. Don’t get it twisted, I’m not claiming to be an elephant expert, but here is some interesting information that explains more about why the elephant is the brand iconography for Sohuis:
Contrary to the typical patriarchal societal structures, elephant herds are led by an alpha-female, a matriarch, and unlike other these societal structures, she is not chosen by her ability to be the most aggressive, dominant, or assertive. She is chosen by the group, collectively, because of her ability to demonstrate leadership through her wisdom, strength and extraordinary skills in problem solving, social intelligence, openness, ability to communicate, decisiveness, patience, confidence, and compassion. The strength of the elephant would seem to be manly physically-defining standing at eight to thirteen feet tall and weighing up 5,000 to 14,000 lbs. However, her emotional intelligence is what helps her live up to seventy years old; mentoring, training and passing down her wisdom to keep her herd safe and thriving. Lucy, above all else, is an extraordinary problem solver.
“The female elephant leader tends to be the most popular among the herd. She is well-respected for her ability to solicit input and communicate problems and avoid mistakes. Elephants are very intelligent and have been known to have exceptional long-term memory. Matriarchs carry crucial information such as where the water holes and food resources are and will lead the herd to them.”
Decisiveness and Patience are two additional attributes that I value and try to apply in all things that I do.
“Matriarchs are trusted and respected because of their ability to make wise decisions. Any members of the herd may offer a suggestion and contribute to the decision. However, many years of experience and wisdom in making crucial decisions to avoid danger, contribute to the ultimate decisiveness of the good matriarch.
Patience is also one of the main attributes of elephant leaders. Although its size does not equal its speed, the elephant relies on consciousness and patience to meet its needs. Patience makes it easier for the elephant leader to think things through and respond to all situations in a calm and confident manner.”
Sohuis, a Brand Transformation Breakdown
So, here’s what the brand looked like beforehand, not bad at all. I was happy with it to get it off the ground. I used one of my favorite elephant photos and overlayed the logo on top of it. Here is how I transformed these concepts into the rebrand:
As you can see, I kept the name and the primary purple color the same, but I added a couple of complimentary colors to expand the logo’s ability to be used in multiple mediums. Most notably, while the my first logo wasn’t a “true” logo at all, as it was simply typography without a brand icon or symbol – I incorporated a minimalistic and simple outline of Lucy so that she was fully represented in the brand story. Lucy is intended to be used as the lead brand iconography – a brand stamp, if you will – and she is now a vital piece of the visual design. Whereas before, she played a more supporting role and there was no real way to incorporate her into many of the design elements. Lastly, I felt very strongly about having a design that worked well vertically and horizontally, as there are an infinite amount of ways to apply your logo, so having both horizontal and vertical options was critical. Any of these designs can change between these color palettes, and the design works well in color, and in black and white.
So, there you have it! I hope you love the new logo as much as I do. And in my next post, I’ll create a tactical guide to rebranding and include more detailed examples of rebrand strategies and how you can take some of these concepts and apply them to your brand. Until then, stay tuned on Instagram for updated content and Lucy sitings!
Author, Jessica Korthuis
Jessica is the founder of Sohuis and creator of the Sohuis StartupBluprint, a online accelerator designed to help female founders define, distinguish and differentiate their brand in 30 days or less. She has a passion for writing and educating and an obsession with teaching others how to bring their brands to life.
Jessica has been featured by Girlboss, the Lean Startup Company, is a 40 Under 40 Award recipient and has been listed as a “Woman to Watch in 2019 and Beyond” by the national publication, Biz Journals. She is a contributing writer to Girl CEO Inc., proud mompreneur, and to keep up with her super inspiring and fun content, follow her on Instagram @jessica_korthuis.