The way an organization communicates about itself and the language used by staff sets it apart from the rest.  Language and words drive the personality of a brand. Icons and images added to typography set the tone for a brand’s story.

ExerciseSHIFT is a unique communications and visual session guided by the folks at SHIFT. We tend to start every client relationship off with exerciseShift because it helps us learn about and understand an organization. Through this session we answer the core questions – who are you, what do you do, how do you work and WHY.

We utilize exerciseSHIFT in several different ways:

      • To help a company/organization create a brand identity
      • To refresh the way a company/organization communicates its key messages
      • To energize a brand to begin thinking more strategically about their use of language across all channels

ExerciseSHIFT is served in modules to solve a variety of language, design, or marketing needs.


Six Word Story

The building blocks of an organization’s DNA are words that, when put together, influence customer behavior. We break down the language you are using with your employees, stakeholders and Shift staff but dissecting the nouns, verbs and adjectives used in your nomenclature. The outcome is a consensus of words used to define your organization.

Finding Your Voice

We challenge your organization to look at individual words and categorize them based on who you are and who you want to be. Cardsorting is successful when complemented by the Six Word Story. The outcome is a uniform vision for where you want your organization to bein the future.

Buyer Profiles and Competition

We work with you to analyze your target audience, their problems you are trying to solve and who will most likely take business away from you.

Icon Meaning

We show that abstract things can have meaning to various audiences and can have a function to bring them together by exploring the imagery of your field. We do this by using analogies. The outcome is a collection of icons that could reflect your brand in some way and can be shaped into a logo.

Color Feature

Colors have meaning. The Wagner Institute for Color Research in Santa Barbara, California says to never paint a nursery yellow because it activates the anxiety center of the brain. We know colors have meaning. Through the Color Feature module, we explore colors as it relates to your identity and sector.

Conversation Café

We create a café atmosphere and pose key questions your organization needs to answer. A table host monitors and encourages conversation among table attendees attempting to answer the complex question proposed at the table. After good discussion attendees rotate to a different table, building off of the answers from the last group.

Significance Proposition

We breakdown the structure of a written value proposition into small chunks and work with you to answer key variables of the statement like who are the customers you are serving and what is your usefulness in the marketplace. The outcome is a refined positioning statement, value proposition or mission statement.