As I reflect on my experience, I realize to what extent building a business pushes you into life’s playground, challenging your personality and requiring deep changes to be able to go through it all. 

We are in early 2021, I am employed as an acceleration program manager, and HelloData is a side project I’ve been working on for a few months. The name is settled, the business model is kind of validated, and it is time for HelloData to exist as a brand. 

This part of any project is exciting, especially if you’re into creative work. You strive for distinctiveness, influence, and clarity in communicating your message. You are there, envisioning the perfect brand as if this visual aspect alone will determine the success of your project, which is wrong but commonly perceived. 

Starting The Process of Creating The Brand

At that time, I had the chance to be supported by a branding professional who set up a seamless process for creating the brand. I will share details about what we did in another post but today, I want to focus on how we decided what HelloData will look like. 

So after going through that process, including many sketches and iterations, we came up with three logos, colors & and slogans final propositions. These were meant to be submitted in a survey to our main buyer persona: profiles who are similar to HelloData target clients, mainly business owners and managers. 

The first logo proposition was good. It had a donut chart on the O of HelloData, it was clear, seamlessly communicating the value proposition. It had a good chance to be voted.

The second proposition was my favorite. Simple, smartly designed, kind of formal. I just loved it plus it got approved by our close network, a few persons who were giving feedback during the process. I was SOLD. It was the one. I could so clearly envision HelloData with that logo. 

The last one was completely different, we included it last minute just for fun and out of curiosity about what people would think of such a proposition. 

A section of our brand creation survey

Learning to Be Data-Driven

The survey was set up & good to be sent. We were aiming to reach about 50 participations of our main target. 

The thing is, it takes time for people to fill out forms and in the meantime, opportunities were there. 

  • I had to send a project presentation to apply for the innovative project label (delivered by the Algerian ministry of startups) 
  • I had the first partnership to publicly display a HelloData dashboard 

I don’t need to tell you that for both, you better show up with a logo. 

HelloData’s first public appearance on a screen.

The solution I found was to use my favorite one, it was pre-validated anyway & it will probably be voted. About two weeks later, the results were there. 

The third logo largely won. 

I didn’t sleep that night. 

It sounds like it’s just a logo but it’s not. I deeply knew that it was a critical moment for me. A critical decision to make.

The very precise moment you understand that it is not about you. Not at all

I was in a situation where I was investing everything I had to build HelloData. The logo is something you see every day, you live with it and I hated that one. I almost regretted adding it to the survey and was attached to the first one that made sense to me. 

But at that point, one single question remained in my mind: 

Amina, how are you planning to go out to convince people that they should trust their data to make decisions if you are not able to do it yourself? 

It was hard but I made the decision to be data-driven and chose that third HelloData logo. 

I also know that this is when I got emotionally detached from HelloData. It wasn’t mine anymore, it belonged to a community of professionals who will, through their perspectives, their needs and even their preferences shape what HelloData will be. 

I learned to un-love my company

Today, when people tell me that they sense how emotionally attached I am to the brand, especially during coaching sessions, I know that they’re wrong and that they confuse attachment with excitement but that’s fine. I never argue it, the most important for me is knowing that critical decisions we make for HelloData, since that Logo experience, are objective and never influenced by a moody founder. 

Being Rewarded for Trusting The Process

This is how the logo was chosen and the same goes for the slogan and blue color. 

Blue they said. Blue it was. 

Since then, everything turned blue. Our office walls, furniture, stationery, goodies, and even the M&Ms we were eating were sorted to only keep blue ones. Moreover, it wasn’t just about HelloData because my clothes and accessories also turned blue. 

For the record, my favorite color isn't blue, but who cares?

I completely embraced it, working on associating a very common color with HelloData in people’s minds. And I was amazed by how effective that was. 

Today I’m happy and proud of how the branding went while being completely reconciled with our logo. People love our visual identity and it turned out that everyone spontaneously clicks with the logo, and sees something different.

You can give it a try. Have a look at our logo mark below and try to guess its meaning. I’d be happy to hear what you see in the comment section by the way. 

What do you see in HelloData’s logo mark?

IT people see an inverted semi-column. Some see the intended Hello wave but here are two of our favorite interpretations.

A fancy girl said once: Oh it looks like someone playing golf.

Another person who has hope and faith said: “I see someone raising his hands to god and praying to have clients.”

Les clients تقول واحد رافد يديه ل’سما و يدعي : “يا ربي يجوني

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