About this time last year, our leadership team was seated around a conference room table in Galveston, Texas, discussing the nuanced difference between what, how, and why. It was a discussion that kicked off a year’s worth of searching, discovery, and synthesis, and is now culminating in the launch of the refreshed RVi brand later this month. Thanks for joining us in this three-part series as we take you through the journey of our brand refresh, starting with WHY: Articulating our brand purpose.

Many of you are probably familiar with Simon Sinek and his golden circle theory, which formed the basis for RVi’s brand refresh endeavor. A brief recap: Simon says nearly every firm understands what they do, and most firms understand how they do it, but far fewer firms can articulate why they do what they do. And as it turns out, the “why” is the most compelling point of all.

Like many organizations, here at RVi we felt that we had an intuitive sense of the firm’s mission, but we’d always had a hard time putting it into words. Part of the challenge is that RVi is a very diverse firm practicing in a wide range of market sectors. What is the guiding principle that unites our work across the board?

To begin this process we decided to get an outside perspective. We surveyed those with whom we work closely ­– clients and allied firms – to understand what they thought of us and what value we bring to their project teams. There were a lot of good nuggets of information that came out of this survey, but one in particular helped us narrow the focus of our purpose statement.

We asked our clients what their clients and customers want. By far the most common answer had to do with being outdoors. Whether it was outdoor places to gather with friends, or outdoor amenities for the health conscious patron, the vast majority of our respondents recognized that their customers have a collective desire to have meaningful outdoor experiences. And so our team began to unite around this notion.

We started with a big ol’ long purpose statement with multiple sentences that waxed poetic about being outside in nature. We discussed. We laughed. We debated. We held focus groups. We allowed for anonymous feedback. And six months (!) later, we arrived at a finalized purpose statement:

Our purpose is to inspire people to be outside and engage in the community around them.

This statement is at the heart of our brand refresh. But much more importantly, it is at the heart of our firm. This endeavor isn’t about a flashy new logo or an expensive rollout. It is about articulating who we are and why we’re here – and making sure our everyday behavior and decisions are true to this purpose.

Oh, and stay tuned, because we do have a new logo to debut. 🙂