When Beans was first engaged by the founders of YOLO, one of the biggest challenges for the group was finding a name. Many funeral businesses are legacy operations, built on the back of a family name or the name of the owner-operator.The owners wanted to create a business that was modern and scalable and so to use one person’s name was not going to meet this ambition.
We needed to come up with a name that recognises the beauty and individuality of life and speaks to the heart of what YOLO and its directors believe in.The tongue in cheek term YOLO came up during one of our workshop sessions, and what seemed humorous at first, soon started to stick with the founding team members. But with one small change to the acronym. A gentle reminder that our exit only comes along once in a lifetime.
Playing on the popular acronym, we worked with the team to create a name that captured the depth and richness of the people involved and the people they were to work with, while acknowledging the fragility of life.This delicate change to a term that originally aimed to spur a ‘carpe-diem’ attitude was now about the journey we all go on. Starting from birth and taking us on our own path through life before our ultimate exit. That’s how we developed the name and phrase, ‘You Only Leave Once’.
This reflects YOLO’s commitment to making someone’s final journey a thoughtful one. One that respects and recognises the individuality of every person’s life, with a smile.
The theme of recognition is woven throughout the brand. From the custom geometric typeface used in the logo, to the bright and celebratory colour palette.
We adopted bright hues, including lilac, verdant and sunset, to reflect the richness and fullness of life and black to represent the grief and sadness we feel when it’s gone. These colours aim to capture the wide spectrum of experiences and emotions people have toward funerals, as well as the individuality of each of us. The combination of colours together represents the importance of community.
All of these ideas are things YOLO seeks to address and acknowledge in the services they provide and the way they provide them.We paired these colours with an accessible font named Futura to create a modern brand that stands out against the traditional styles predominant in the funeral industries all over the United Kingdom and the western world.
In a juxtaposition to the tradition of the funeral industry, we opted for a simple yet energetic logo that is recognisable and adaptable across digital, print and signage applications. By paring back the design to its simplest form, the logo represents the honest and energetic way YOLO chooses to approach their line of work. It is different, but still accessible. This communicates the brands adaptability and flexibility to the differing needs of their customers and the communities they work with.
The circles in the pattern are an extension of the logo mark, incorporated to create continuity across the brand.
By arranging the circles in a grid and then colouring them in a random way, we created a pattern that echoes the complexity, beauty and unpredictable nature of life and the relationships people have with one another. The predictability of the grid is a nod to the hard facts about our time on this earth: where there is life, there is death. The pattern acknowledges the highs, lows and the expanse of emotions in between. The beauty of the pattern is its versatility and unpredictability. It speaks to the unexpected way life can end, but also of connection and humanity.
We executed the branding across a range of digital platforms, including their website, digital newsletters and social media.
Each platform serves a unique purpose in bringing the YOLO brand to life. Social media enables the team to share regular updates about the brand, the journey of the team, take their customers behind the scenes and show the ins and outs of how they operate. EDMs provide a more intentional platform to drive enquiries and share business updates.
For social media, we developed a creative direction that leant into an object so commonly found during the times preceding and proceeding a funeral; the photograph. The simple polaroid-style social templates gave YOLO an elegant yet slightly nostalgic way to get their messages out there. Underpinning these channels is the website, which acts as a hub for information about their growing list of services, fleet of vehicles and team members.
In addition to digital media, we designed and delivered a range of print material for the team to use in conversation, whether they are out on the road or prospecting locally. This includes business cards for the team, tri-fold flyers and brochures, vehicle signage and street signage for their new premises.
There’s no point in having a great message if there’s no one to share it with. So, to help YOLO reach more like-minded people, we developed a database of contacts of professionals in the funeral industry.
YOLO’s business was unique to others in the funeral industry as they were to provide support services to businesses and organisations such as funeral homes, mortuaries, hospitals and the like. This required a more targeted strategy using the personal networks of the YOLO team, as well as direct marketing to industry professionals across Manchester and the UK.
This is part of an ongoing strategy to build brand awareness and help start conversations with the right people about who YOLO are and their unique position in the funeral industry.
YOLO’s business model proved to be a highly sought after offering, with many funeral homes, mortuaries and related organisations enlisting the expertise of the YOLO team to provide repatriation, transport, funeral planning and vehicle hire.
The next stage of the business’s bright future is to establish a bricks and mortar location where they can enter the funeral market and provide their fresh yet considered approach to those in need of funeral arrangements.
Beans are excited to work alongside YOLO in developing the retail experience and pushing the brand out across digital platforms as they expand their offering and provide goodbyes that recognise.
“Everything you are doing for us is absolutely amazing! You make me feel so proud to be a part of YOLO. The branding, colour, the wording – absolutely everything is perfect. You and your team are very, very talented.”
– Leyton Moores, Director, YOLO Funeral Support Services