After years in Texas politics, Susan Combs has a new mission: empowering women. With Springbox's workforce made up of 45.6% women compared to an industry average of 29.1%, obviously, that was a mission we could get behind. From there, we worked with Combs' team to find the best way to make an impact — a way that would empower women to take on more leadership roles and ignite conversation across a digital space.
At the Springbox offices, our team completes a workshop exercise with the client
Herdacity's final primary logo lockup
The result? Herdacity: an online space and a brand designed for digital that will give women a community where they can exchange ideas and offer support.
Below, meet a few 'Boxers behind the success of the project and get a quick glimpse at their final designs.
Account Director and Strategic Ownership
What did you like most about working with this client?
Herdacity came to us with a mission to “make women’s lives better” and asked us to help them determine the best way to do that. That was obviously something easy for Springbox to get on board with, so everyone went above and beyond to make that happen. Herdacity had great energy and got us more and more excited with every meeting. The founder, Susan Combs, was the former comptroller of Texas. She was smart and fun, keeping us laughing half the meeting and completely in awe the other half. She had established a great team of women who were equally passionate about women’s rights and uplifting each other to do great things.
That leads me into my next question: Why do you think communities/brands like Herdacity are important?
So, during focus groups and user testing we found out that women were looking for a place to be encouraged and learn new things. They needed this outlet. Herdacity is building a place to empower and inspire women everywhere, teaching them it’s okay to take chances and teaching them to learn from failure. It’s a place to motivate each other and learn from each other.
That’s a lot to be proud of. But, if you can pick one thing, what about this project are you most satisfied with?
The incredible product strategy the team developed. We gave them an awesome idea that was backed by a ton of research and strategy to go implement.
Executive Sponsor and Vision Setting
So, what was your role in this project?
I led the team through research and creative problem solving to shape a vision for what this new platform could be. From brand positioning, voice, tone, brand personality through naming, logo development, and product road mapping I kept the opportunity open and ideas flowing, always ensuring the solution delivered on three key attributes: women are worth more, personal networks are important and mobile is a necessity.
Our initial team consisted of creative writers and designers as well as our digital strategist. We pushed the team to think big and look for a niche, a soft-spot, an open place in the digital landscape that would empower women and ignite a conversation. We presented two unique concepts and then validated these concepts through surveys.
Can you talk to me a little about what Herdacity’s mission means to you as a woman in leadership?
I love the call to action to dare to be more, do more, achieve more. I love the concept of worth that resonated with our positioning. I have found that women have a natural way of knowing their strengths and weaknesses and believe this community will give them a chance to share them, learn from them and teach each other through personal experiences.
That’s great. So, in today’s digital world, is that why you think communities/brands like Herdacity are important?
That, but they’re also empowering. They provide a forum for conversation that starts online but can create a ripple in the outside world.
Could you talk about the importance of creative in community building and activism?
There are many sites to join, apps to download and ways to engage in a digital community. Launching another one is easy, but making it successful, noticeable and meaningful is the value in creative problem solving.
Every stage of creating successful communities requires creative problem solving. We start with facts, research, users and data, and then use those tools to identify a gap between what users want and what they have. After validating our findings, we build communities that will become a part of users’ everyday lives.
With this goal, we begin with the brand. From naming to positioning to identity, we find an ownable voice, look/feel and personality that ultimately determine how the brand will be received and adopted by a community.
After branding, it’s time to build. Our platforms focus on features and functionality, our messaging makes experience simple, friendly and easy to engage and our products are intuitive, relevant and smart.
And launch is only the beginning of an infinite cycle. Every great community listens to its audience and uses their feedback to optimize the experience, add relevant new features and evolve with the ever changing ways in which users engage.
Art Director and Brand Visionary
What was your role in this project?
I developed the brand look and feel, including the logo.
Why did you like working on this project?
Herdacity has a fantastic mission, and I felt very proud to be a pivotal part of helping them get started. Susan and her team were inspiring, and just having the opportunity to design for an organization with the goal of empowering and connecting women was enough reward in itself. Susan and her team were also amazing clients. They made swift and logical decisions and were always thinking of the bigger picture.
Could you talk about the thinking behind the Herdacity design?
Community, strength and individualism were all words we used to come up with the Herdacity logo and brand personality. Herdacity connects women to help them become stronger individuals collectively, so we knew that the logo had to be a sign of unity. It also had to show this amazing strength and courage without being overly abrasive. The Herdacity logo that was chosen shows individual layers of lines interlocking around a monogram “H.” This “H” is highlighted in red to symbolize identity and allude to these strong individuals creating an even stronger force.
Could you talk a little about the role of design in community building and activism?
Design can elevate the story of a nonprofit or activist organization exponentially. It’s much more than making a brand visually appealing. Design involves targeting a strong visual and messaging hierarchy, researching the best way to communicate with a specific audience and creating a consistent look for users to easily recognize and correlate with a specific organization. Great design can (and has been proven to) put community building and activist organizations on the map and help give them a strong visual platform that the public can trust.
Excerpts from the Herdacity Style Guide
Primary Logo Lockup
So what’s next for Combs and her team? They’re hoping this project will impact women beyond just Texas. The new name is now getting trademarked in China, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. To learn more about Herdacity, read The Texas Tribune’s article covering Susan Combs' next steps.
To learn more about the work Springbox executes for brands with a mission, visit our work page.