Listening Heads Brand Strategy

Listening Heads is a marketing coaching and consultancy for small and independent businesses. Based in London, it specialises in helping brands grow through targeted social media and digital marketing. The Listening Heads ethos is centred around the belief that only by listening to the unique story of every client, can the true potential of a brand be revealed. Listening is the first step to unlocking success.

We designed the brand identity for Listening Heads. Its founder, Sophie Crossley, needed a brand that reassured clients they were in a safe pair of hands, but that had a playful and friendly side too. Much like her - the brand needed to be colourful and confident, professional yet approachable.

The Listening Heads Moodboard we created as part of their brand development process. We were inspired by vintage stationery, colourful packaging, Japanese Washi tape, Stüssy ad campaigns, crayons and bold typography.

The first question we asked was, "how does Sophie listen?" Through interviews and the analysis of her note-making sheets, sketches and documents; we found that Sophie tends to underline certain points when interviewing a client. In fact, we found an underline or highlight was used when a client had said something of particular importance.

The ‘Highlight’, then, is the moment something intangible (the process of listening) is transformed into something visual, and real. It is a graphical representation of the process of listening.

The ‘Highlight’ is a key conceptual graphic motif, and the primary signifier of the Listening Heads brand. It is strong and clean, yet its hand-drawn nature adds humanity to a brand making its voice heard in the heavily digitised world of social media and online marketing.

The ‘Highlight’ connects a client with Listening Heads through the transference of understanding via listening, onto the physical medium of paper. Paper was another way of making the company transcend the digital, and feel approachable, warm and tactile.

The ‘Highlight’ was reduced in size, and worked into a background to look like flecks in textured paper. Patterns were created, and hand-drawn ‘Highlighter’ marks were developed to use over photography. A vibrant colour palette inspired by post-it notes and highlighter pens was designed which incorporated oranges, yellows, mints and pinks.

The Listening Heads brand identity provided the company with a system, assets and guidelines that could be used across digital and print collateral. This included logos in different iterations, a social media icon, a favicon, a suite of textures and patterns, as well as button styles, line styles and fonts.