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Lunar Perspectives

All Change is Always Good

I have a certain belief that doesn’t usually go over well… it’s that all change is good. All of it. Always. All the time. I think of it as “social evolution.” Like Darwinian evolution, social evolution follows the basic tenets of survival of the fittest: it’s inevitable, relentless, and invisible to the naked eye in real time. It almost always requires real patience and trust that the universe moves forward in a way that is positive and life-affirming. It seems to me that viewing everything that happens as good is an incontrovertibly positive way to go through, and get through, life. It’s certainly better than being unhappy about change, because things change a lot, and being unhappy could become a full-time job. (I don’t know about you, but I know a lot people who applied for and got that job.)

In the world of branding (awkward segue), change can be a tough pill to swallow for some clients. Even though they seek us out for the express purpose of making a change of some kind, it turns out they’re often not ready for change at all. One of the first things to do is test their understanding of what the change they are looking for might look like when the work is complete. Since change can be scary, this step will set you both up for success.

The most common roadblock to change is that clients often confuse equity with positive equity. Just because you’ve had a name or logo for 10 years doesn’t mean that it’s a good one, that it’s working well, or that others perceive it they way you think they do. Often it just means that you’ve had a name or logo for 10 years. Time invested does not guarantee equity or quality. Basically, companies are just like people. A reluctance to accept new ideas, large or small, usually stems from a fear of the unknown. Clients don’t want to lose customers and, while there is always some fall out from any change, if it’s carefully considered and implemented change is by far the most powerful way to make progress, show existing customers that you are keeping up with the times, and gain new customers – not lose old ones.

One way to help a client understand and even get excited about change is to be very, very good at what you do. The more experience you have, the better designer you are, the more you understand how to manage change and the fear surrounding it, the easier it will be for a client to set aside their fears, suspend disbelief and engage trust. While talent is just the entry fee, you also need to help them understand the many benefits of moving to a more current, more appropriate, more targeted image. Show them concrete examples of what it might be like to walk a mile in new moccasins. Sure, they might get a few blisters at the beginning, but your kit of tools should also include those little bandaids that make them feel better until their skin heals, toughens up, and makes it painless for them to stand tall and walk proudly into their Brand New Future.

Have I convinced you that all change is always good yet? Probably not…but give it a try. It’s not usually the things we change that hurt, it’s the things we don’t.

 

 


"I always knew I wanted to be somebody... I see now I should have been more specific."
LILY TOMLIN