All posts by Jeremie Miller

Rebranding ILF: A Solidified Brand Profile

This is Part 3 of our Rebrand Story.
Part 1 Rebranding ILF: A Story of Change
Part 2 Our Brand’s Highs and Lows

With information from our team, the stakeholder interviews, and all the material on the current website, Rethink (the company helping us through the rebrand process) took the next step by building and presenting a Brand Profile to the ILF Team. 

Our Driving Insight Sums Up the ILF Mission

Everyone on the ILF team experienced a shiver down our spines when Rethink presented “ILF’s Driving Insight” for the new brand:

Advocate well-being is the crumbling infrastructure that holds up sexual and domestic violence organizations across North America.

This broken bridge represents the crumbling infrastructure that holds up sexual and domestic violence organizations across North America

Our team has struggled to explain clearly and simply why our work is important. And now, here it was, right in front of us, written in a way we never would have discovered on our own.

This one sentence felt like a complete reset in how we could talk about the importance of ILF’s work. Our team doesn’t only help with self-care. We don’t only teach boundary and communication skills.

Our Mission Supports DV Advocates

Our mission is to find ways to strengthen the advocate infrastructure that supports the survivors of sexual and domestic violence so they can rebuild and return to better lives.

With this amazing insight to kick off the Rethink presentation, the ILF Team felt like we were seeing our work again for the first time. But Rethink had more for us, and continued to share the new brand profile.

Our Brand Profile Supports the ILF Message

Wait, what is a brand profile?

A brand profile, we learned, is the foundation that our brand is built upon. This brand profile serves as guide for the creation of everything — from the colors on our website to the language used to express what we do.

Without going through the whole process and presentation, here are some of the highlights from our shiny new brand profile document:

ILF Brand Foundations

Care workers are selfless agents of change who are obsessed with helping others. “Maintainers” are the unsung heroes of society. ILF is unique in providing comprehensive, practical self-care training at the lowest overall cost.

ILF Brand Profile Venn Diagram

ILF Brand Belief & Ambitions

We believe that the most effective Advocate is one who is thriving. This is our Brand Belief. We seek to inspire all Advocates to take the time to care for themselves. This is our Brand Ambition.

ILF Brand Profile Brand Belief and Brand Ambition

Everything Extends From the ILF Brand Profile

The combination of our driving insight, brand foundation, brand belief and ambition, combined with our brand voice (positive, empathetic, calm, candid), target audience, emotional benefit, and reasons to believe is our complete ILF Brand Profile. This will become the solid foundation that the new ILF brand will be built upon.

Moving forward, everything — including colors, fonts, logos, wordmarks, images, and eventually a brand new name — is held up by this Brand Profile. It provides the structure and strength.

Anticipating Our Next Steps

Everyone was excited and emotional, anticipating what would happen next as we moved forward in the process. Soon we would be looking at visual sandboxes to determine what the new Brand Design would look like.

Join us in the next post as we share some of these visual sandboxes (the ones we liked and ones we….meh), then continue reading as we move forward to see how all of these different pieces come together.

Discovering Our Brand’s Highs and Lows

[This is Part 2 of our Rebrand Story. Read Part 1 here.]

After the “Listen and Learn” call, Rethink (the company helping us through the rebrand process) continued learning about our brand.

They had already heard from us, so it was now time to interview the various ILF stakeholders: 

  • Sexual violence Program Director
  • Domestic violence Shelter Manager from a shelter we trained
  • Domestic violence shelter Director of Development & Community Outreach
  • Executive Director of a domestic violence coalition
  • Indrani’s Light Volunteer 
  • Vicarious Trauma Researcher
  • Director of a Domestic Violence women’s shelter who said “no” to our training
  • Indrani’s Light Board Member
  • Indrani, our Founder

Hearing from our stakeholders, and most importantly, from the people we are helping was both heartening (when we heard the good news) and frustrating. (Bad news is never great, even when helpful.) Rethink compiled everything into a report and presented it to our team.

The Good News

The people who have taken the training believe in the work and find it helpful and important:

  • “Brings unique training to centers that may not have that expertise.”
  • “For a lot of them it was new. They didn’t know what to expect but they liked how it was presented and the activities they used.”
  • “It’s the level of focus they put on things that makes the difference.”
  • “I came into this training feeling as though I knew all there was to know about self-care. In fact, I was a little annoyed at the idea of having to attend yet another self-care training. But this was so much more than that.”

There is no doubt that the training is needed in shelters:

  • “We need to start stepping back and seeing how we take care of the advocates.”
  • “Organizations don’t build self-care into their culture, which is something that needs to be change.”
  • “When we first started, I felt guilty to close my center for 2 days. But at the end, I feel like it was dearly needed.”

The Bad News

Although the work is inspiring and beneficial, no one knows about the training:

  • “I worry a lot of advocates don’t know about it. I mentioned it this morning and no one knew what it was.”
  • “People don’t know about ILF.”
  • “Not enough people know about it.”
  • “Until I met Jeremie, I had never heard of ILF.”

People are confused when speaking about what ILF does:

  • “I don’t even know what their brand is. I don’t even remember a logo or what it looks like. The colors I remember were a purple envelope that had their stuff in it.”
  • “I would describe it as a Canadian based organization designed to help victims of abuse, specifically from India and countries like Trinidad and Tobago.”

There is confusion around the name Indrani’s Light Foundation:

  • “It’s limited because as the name suggests it’s Indrani’s Light Foundation and it stays as Indrani’s foundation. It doesn’t become more generalized. It doesn’t become more neutral.”
  • “The foundation becomes tied to a personality and that may be part of the issue.”
  • “I think the name suggests the focus – Indrani’s Light suggests a call to CERTAIN people.”
  • “The title of the agency doesn’t say what they do. They could be about anything.”

There are barriers that prevent people from committing to the training:

  • “Barriers include finding the time and prioritizing the need for self-care.”
  • “If they’re not clear on what they’re trying to sell, no one else will be.”
  • “Time constraints. If it was a 2-hour training then we would do that, 100%. I cannot commit two to three days or even one full day.”
  • “Self-care is still in its infancy. Just because we know about it doesn’t mean we’ll do anything about it.”

 

What we learned and what needs to change.

Let’s start with the most important piece of learning from this process:

The stakeholders confirmed that tools for building resilience to compassion fatigue and burnout are needed, and that ILF’s curriculum make a difference.

(Whew!)

Next, and although we know this, it was still hard to hear: 

Indrani’s Light Foundation isn’t doing a great job of building awareness around who we help and how we help them. In fact, we have been doing the opposite, creating confusion about our work.

Our team has a lot of passion around the work we do. We want to make a big impact on the advocates we help, and through them an impact on their clients, family, and friends. We are keeping that impact small by confusing the very people we’re trying to help.

This absolutely has to change. Thankfully, the rebrand will help.

We also discovered that there are some changes that we may need to make that go deeper than our brand. Looking at the length of our training, reviewing the curriculum and making necessary changes, getting our language clear, doing a better job of gathering evidence that our work is making a difference,…

Wait, that’s a completely different post, and if we are learning anything from this process, it is that we tend to get off track in our communication and create confusion. Ignore that last paragraph, let’s get back on track.

Next Steps

With all of this stakeholder information in hand and the meeting with Rethink wrapped up, it was time to move on to the next big step in the rebrand process: The ILF Brand Profile.

What is a brand profile? We had no idea, but we were going to learn all about it in our next meeting with Rethink. You can learn all about it reading the next post in this series…

Rebranding Indrani’s Light Foundation: A Story of Change

The Early Days of ILF

It all began during the team retreat in January 2018 as a discussion about making changes to the Indrani’s Light Foundation (ILF) website. It seemed so simple as the team sat in a condo in Portland, Oregon. Stacie called in via Zoom after bad weather grounded her flight.

Indrani's Light Foundation story

Our website had been created in 2014 to represent Indrani’s global work to end gender-based violence. In the following years, the team added and tweaked pages as our mission shifted towards supporting domestic violence shelter staff. Although the core pages remained, the ILF website and message was becoming cluttered and confused.

People, especially those we were trying to help, didn’t understand what we actually did. That was a big problem. No problem, we thought. We will rewrite the copy, change images, fix some navigation, and everything will be clarified. 

Of course, nothing ever turns out to be as simple as we think, does it?

The Donation that Made an ILF Rebrand Possible

2018 brought about big changes. ILF’s very first team member, Stacie Cassada Kenton, moved on to follow an amazing opportunity for her business and Amy Jaffe reduced her role at ILF to help in her family’s Portland pie shop. 

These changes put the website project on hold until late 2018, when ILF received a donation to use for a full rebrand. This gift meant something very different from the original website renovation project we had envisioned. What had begun as an idea to reorganize and rewrite the current website had evolved into the opportunity to recreate the ILF brand to better represent our work.

We had to think even bigger now! We were excited, but to be honest, we were also a bit terrified. What did we know about rebranding?

The ILF Rebrand Adventure Begins 

Lots of learning, lots of proposals and meetings later — including one proposal for a full rebrand and ongoing publicity at $25,000/month, which we said “no” to — we made a decision. On February 7th, 2019, the ILF team (Indrani, Jeremie, and newest team member Mariam) met with Rethink, a marketing agency in Vancouver, British Columbia for a “Listen and Learn” call. This kicked off the branding process.

The story continued from that Thursday in February with many twists and turns. And it continues to wend its way forward as we finalize a new brand and website, scheduled to launch in September, 2019.

We’re sure you’re eager to know what the new Indrani’s Light Foundation brand looks like. Join us over the coming weeks as the rebrand story unfolds in the following blog posts. (SPOILER: The whole process leads to an exciting new name as part of the rebrand.)

The ILF Rebrand Story

  1. Origins of the Original Indrani’s Light Foundation Brand
  2. What Our Clients, Supporters, and Competitors Think about ILF
  3. The ILF Brand Profile
  4. What the New ILF Will Look Like: Exploring Visual Sandboxes
  5. Harder Than We Thought: Renaming Indrani’s Light Foundation
  6. Developing a New Logo
  7. Bringing It All Together: Honing the Final Brand for ILF

Recognition feels amazing, but isn’t worth worrying about

On May 3rd 2019 Indrani was recognized as a champion of gender equity and justice for both her global work to lift women and girls out of poverty, and her domestic work to improve the level of care for domestic violence survivors by teaching front-line advocates resilience against compassion fatigue and burnout.

Indrani was so excited to receive her award from Vagina Monologues writer Eve Ensler.

After the event Indrani recorded this video for you to talk about how it feels to be recognized, whether that recognition is something small or something big, and to encourage you to take a tiny step forward with whatever goal or dream you are envisioning.

Now it is your turn to answer Indrani’s questions:

What is it you want to do?
Why do you want to do it?
What are a few first steps you can take right now?

Leave a comment below with your answers to these questions so Indrani and the ILF Team can share your journey.

Sakhi for South Asian Women (Sakhi), New York City’s first South Asian American women’s organization and an award-winning nonprofit that combats domestic and sexual violence in NYC’s South Asian community, celebrated 30 years of service and advocacy at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at its gala ‘Honoring the Power Within’, on May 3, 2019.

How to help everyone at once, without overwhelm (SPOILER: You can’t!) – Episode 28

Does this sound familiar: you are rushing to leave for work, helping your partner find their keys, packing lunches into backpacks, trying to put dinner in the crockpot, trying to remember your keys, then finally making it out the door. Once you arrive at work you have a meeting with your supervisor, are asked to get something from the supply room (which leads to three more people wanting something), then one of the residents asks you to talk about a big challenge they are facing.

How are you going to do all of this at once, and make everyone happy?

The short answer: you can’t.

The long answer: listen to this episode of the Caring for the Caregivers podcast and learn some important tools you can use to control the overwhelm of trying to help everyone at once.

Episode Time Codes

00:00 Intro
01:16 Scenario
02:36 Indrani – Make a list, and learn to grow your self-empathy bucket
13:52 Discussion
17:42 Amy – using your values to say a positive “No”
28:13 Jeremie – applying these lessons to your organization (and to puppies!)
35:26 Discussion
38:05 Summary and conclusion

Resources

LINK: Kristen Neff’s Self-compassion test

LINK: Dan Siegel’s Hand Model of the Brain

BOOK: The Power of a Positive No – William Ury

Caring for the Caregivers: A Self-Empathy Meditation – Episode #26

Often, in life, you will find yourself stuck between two versions of yourself: the “you” that wants peace and to be satisfied doing the best you can, and the “you” that is crazily trying to do everything for everyone. In this episode Indrani will lead you through a short meditation to help you become a compassionate witness to your own self and your own energy.

00:00 Introduction
00:53 Self-Empathy Meditation
04:21 Outro

Caring for the Caregivers: Talk to the Positive Part of Yourself – Episode #25

When you are feeling sad, do you forget about your whole self, focusing only on the sadness? In this episode Indrani will guide you through a meditation to connect with, and embrace, the positive you. It isn’t about changing the sadness, it is about honoring all parts of yourself, and living a whole, and healthy, life.

Episode Time Codes

00:00 Introduction
00:57 Guided Meditation
08:04 Outro

Caring for the Caregivers: When Family and Work Values Collide – Episode #24

Making a decision between your family and your work is never an easy task, especially when, which is more important changes with the circumstances. How can you determine when being with your family is most important? When going to work and supporting your clients is most important? In this episode Indrani, Amy, and Jeremie discuss tools you can use to make important decisions between your family and your work.

Episode Time Codes

00:00 Introduction
01:20 Scenario
02:12 Jeremie – Accommodate, Avoid, Attack – How we say NO without saying NO
09:25 Discussion
17:00 Indrani – Your unreasonable “perfect should list”
23:10 Discussion
25:50 Amy – Contradictions between your different roles leading to shame
30:38 Discussion
39:00 Conclusion
40:36 Outro

Caring for the Caregivers: A Story and Meditation – What Does Change Mean to You? – Episode #23

You may want to get your journal out and take some notes as Indrani asks some important questions in this episode. Are you thinking about making a change in your life? What feelings come up for you during the change process? What does change mean to you?

Episode Time Codes

00:00 Introduction
01:49 What do you feel when undergoing change? What is change necessary?
03:35 When change needs to be birthed
05:26 Using your energy to fight back against change
07:59 Ask others about the change they see in you
10:25 Understand that change is a constant
13:00 Writing exercise – Change means…
15:20 Outro

Caring for the Caregivers: Remember Who You Are – Episode #22

Indrani shares a story about a hair salon trip gone wrong, then shares how she used the Live a Brighter Life tools. Listen to the story and the discussion with Amy and Jeremie about the story to learn how you can use boundaries to stay grounded in your own truth, trust your own experiences, and remember who you are. If you don’t know your own truth, and practice it every day, people WILL cross your boundaries.

Episode Time Codes

00:00 Introduction
02:29 Indrani tells the “Oil Head Massage” Story
09:26 Discussion about the story
11:36 Indrani shares her thoughts and lessons about the story
18:30 How to set boundaries around your truth
22:30 Journaling as a practical tool for keeping centered and knowing your truth
28:45 Using visualizations to help set boundaries
34:20 Conclusion
36:18 Outro