Sarah McGowan Dear

Archive for the ‘Business Therapy’ Category

Beyond an Experiment in Awesomeness*

In Business Therapy on February 8, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Our Make Your Mark winner's new logo | Designed by The Think Farm

Our Make Your Mark Winner’s new logo | Designed by The Think Farm

2012 provided one of the best branding experiences I’ve had to date in the form of a contest, some very worthy non-profits and a partnership that continues to yield delicious fruit.

Helen Kim of The Think Farm and I hatched a plan to offer our services through a social media contest, Make Your Mark, to a Los Angeles-based non-profit as a way to give back to the city that gives us so much. We were nothing short of thrilled by the passionate and socially conscious applicants who worked hard to promote their organizations to become our winner.

Sadly, there could be only one.

Happily, we were honored to work with some of the incredibly innovative and forward-thinking folks in the Los Angeles Time Banking community on a new kind of community market concept. Read the rest of this entry »

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We Heart Transformation

In Business Therapy, Clients on July 14, 2012 at 12:08 am


Recently a friend texted me asking my philosophy on facing change. Not exactly light fare for a text, but she was serious and as anyone who knows me well can attest, I’m always up for a philosophical debate on the subject.

“My serious and most obvious answer is – it’s transformative. I love change because it’s where the magic happens. It’s the place where we notice the details. When we’re too comfortable, we tend to miss a lot.” Read the rest of this entry »

Tiffany Nesson, Super Fly Wardrobe Stylist

In Business Therapy, Clients on June 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Artwork by The Think Farm | © 2012 Tiffany Nesson

We’re always excited when one of our clients launches a new website – it’s like breathing air crackling with electricity: so much anticipation, so much excitement, so many hairs standing on end! (And no, it’s not just the coffee talking.)

Mac worked with Tiffany to develop the basic concept for her site and articulate her unique brand essence by way of our Branding Exploration Exercise. Built around her personality, business practices and all the great visual referencing she provided for inspiration, Mac helped Tiffany qualify her process as a “methodology” to show the thoughtful steps she takes to help her clients realize their vision. Read the rest of this entry »

You Down with PoP? Yeah You Know Me…

In Business Therapy, Clients on June 5, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Cocktail napkins make very good charts | All content © 2012 MAC+COB

It seems like another lifetime when I worked in the non-profit sector running programs for at-risk youth. Even though it felt really good doing so much good, long hours, lots of coffee and more than occasional heartbreak were but par for the course.

On the days when it got really tough, my mentor and friend, Jo Ann Allen, always managed to have a few sparkling words of wisdom to quell the rising tide of exhaustion and exasperation. One of my favorite Jo Ann-isms has stuck with me all these years, proving true in so many situations: “Purity of Purpose” … just three little words that mean so much and continue to frame how I go about my work. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s an Elephant? A Parable on Branding…

In Business Therapy, Clients on May 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Rajasthan, India 2005 | All content © 2012 MAC+COB

You’ve probably heard of the Indian legend of the three blind men and the elephant…lacking one of the key senses, they have only their hands to explore what an elephant is all about.

One feels the tusk, “Clearly an elephant is like a spear, sharp and dangerous!”

Another feels a leg, “No, no – an elephant is like a tree trunk, sturdy and still!”

The last grabs hold of the tail, “You’re both wrong! An elephant is like a rope, strong and useful!”

Though the blind men are all having perfectly legitimate experiences with parts of the elephant, none of them can see the animal for what it truly is – a combination of all these things and so much more. Read the rest of this entry »