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Year of Small Business

The Year of Small Business (YOSB) is a collaborative movement from the pioneering small business platform Hello Alice in partnership with NAACP, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), and Mastercard to strengthen small businesses. The movement delivers capital, connections, and consumer enthusiasm to help 3 million small business owners thrive in 2022 and beyond. By prioritizing the New Majority of women, people of color, veterans, and other groups traditionally shut out of resources needed for success, this movement aims to prove that small business owners are our nation’s biggest assets.

After building the overall Hello Alice brand in 2021, Hello Alice asked Motto to develop the comprehensive brand for Year of Small Business emphasizing the diversity of small businesses and their role as the backbone of our economy.

With a record-setting number of small businesses registered during the pandemic, something big is on the horizon. By prioritizing the New Majority of women, people of color, veterans, and other groups traditionally shut out of resources needed to succeed, this movement proves once and for all that small business owners are the nation’s biggest assets.

Brand Strategy
The Motto team led YOSB leadership to develop a strategic position that is empowering, optimistic, and confident — rallying around the idea: “Small Business. Big Moves.” which reflects YOSB’s commitment to helping small business owners do big things.

We carved out territory for YOSB as a collaborative movement that supercharges small businesses in all 50 states through funding, education, and consumer spending. The identity had to appeal to a broad audience that encompasses partners, entrepreneurs, and consumers.

Verbal Identity
The use cases for this brand language needed to be wide. It needed to have a populist feel with a sense of common good and urgency. We knew we also had to be undergirded by the idea that the success of small business owners is a responsibility — and a benefit — to each of us. We wanted to advocate for the underserved. Much of what we are addressing is complex and incremental (capital access, public policy change, job creation, leveling the playing field, improved standards of living) so the YOSB brand language has to engage in a way that makes these things feel possible and worth tackling.

Visual Identity
The team chose to use “The Year of Small Business” as the logo, emphasizing it as a statement. The fonts, colors, and placement of the logo offers a flexible structure which gives YOSB a multitude of ways to use the brand. An alternative logo was created as an initialism, YOSB, which takes the “time frame” out of the statement, conveying the idea that focus on small business should not only last one year, but be eternal.

Highlighting the humanness of the small business owner, the logo, the photography, and the verbal and visual language tell diverse and authentic stories by focusing on the businesses themselves. It utilizes a CTA for consumers and enterprise partners to support this movement, which directly fulfills their mission of expanding the business opportunities and networks of small businesses.

YOSB secondary lockup system is flexible and allows endless lockup variations that can fit any format or size. In this system, the logo becomes graphic elements for framing content like photography by following a grid system.A collaborative movement to strengthen the backbone of our economy.

Scope of Work
Brand Strategy
● Competitive audit
● Strategic workshops
● Corporate purpose, mission, vision definition
● Idea Worth Rallying Around™
● Value proposition
● Positioning statement
● Audience persona development
● Internal brand training for leaders and staff

Verbal Identity
● Voice persona
● Voice pillars
● Brand manifesto
● Messaging strategy
● Signature phrases and hero copy
● Grammar Guidelines
● Inclusive Language Guidelines

Visual Identity
● Brand look & feel
● New logo and identity system
● Color palette specifications
● Typography specifications
● Photography treatment
● Iconography system
● Brand guidelines
● Collateral materials
● Merch

The Year of Small Business

Bringing Capital and Customers to 3 Million Businesses

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