Nature as Inspiration for Brands.


For me, there is no separation between life and work. So as I settled into a perfect sandstone bluff overlooking the Pacific, with seals chattering below and pelicans flying above—I felt the warmth and grounding of the stone. I was also working through the identity elements for a new brand firefly180 marketing  is launching.

The brand architecture and messaging strategy were complete, the logo and tagline were approved; and layout for business cards and other ID elements were underway. This new business is about to make change in a big way. And this moment, which merged sea, sun and stone, felt solid, balanced and supported. Which led me to suggest to the client, that  instead of using traditional business card stock, we should find a heavier,  more substantial and sustainable fiber to reflect the solid, credible and supportive services they’ll be offering. A simple suggestion, yes…but one that directly impacts this brand and would create a deeper, more memorable experience for clients and potential clients who receive this card.

As president and creative director for a  global and mobile advertising agency that works with mission-based based businesses, I’ve worked on brands from sailboats, beaches overlooking volcanoes, from trains in Argentina—even the Tenderloin District of San Francisco (where by the way, I found a great boutique hotel!) So whether it’s website content and design,  social media, print or digital ads…or every kind of communication strategy in-between, ideas flow from many forms.

As marketers and brand strategists, it’s those moments when we step outside the box—and out of the office, that can open us to to creative that may not have come otherwise. When we do, inspiration moves freely, like waves in an infinite sea.

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.


Life and Marketing As a Work of Art

Meet The Hand, by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázaba. Installed in Punta del Este, Uruguay in 1982, this sculpture was originally envisioned by the artist as a warning to swimmers about the rough surf just steps away. But to me, this iconic sculpture is more about hope. Humanity. Our connection with nature. And our ability as humans to keep reaching for the sky.

So it goes with art or any creative endeavor.  Meaning and interpretation contain as many layers as we have words to express. The same is true with marketing, messaging and branding. As the head of a global and mobile, Minneapolis/St. Paul-based advertising and marketing agency, I know that messaging that resonates with one person may not with another.

That’s the beauty of brands. Part art, part science,  brands that try to be a lot of everything; amount to a lot of nothing. Brands are unique. They speak a language all their own. They are how we connect emotionally to products, services and businesses. And of course, while a luxury brand might convey the quintessential aspiration for one person, the same brand could smack of needless excess to another.

Like art, we all see things a bit differently. And at the end of the day, perhaps branding is fundamentally all about offering a little helping hand. Connecting. Reaching out. Of being held. And holding.


Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.