This article should really start way back in time but I leave to another moment the serendipitous events and people that brought the Nova founding team together. In the following lines, I’ll try to condense (i) why we have decided to go for a rebranding of Nova and also (ii) share our thoughts behind the new isotype, hoping you could see some of those elements we’ve tried to capture while designing it.
Preparing for a long expedition
The past 2 years have been an intense preparation for the most ambitious expedition I’ve ever set my mind onto, together with a group of incredible people. In January 2020, Nova started off its new chapter, a fresh new company with a strong global ambition and with a clear vision. We saw the potential, more than ever, to use technology and a unique human touch to find and empower all those bright individuals across the world that today capture their full potential on their own, some with more and some with fewer resources. Talent and hard work are not yet the main predictors of someone’s professional success or happiness. Actually, on the day we are born we start playing the life game, each one with different odds. Society is not yet fully meritocratic since so much depends on the one choice we don’t make, the place where we are born.
Therefore, we wondered: how could we build a global trusted place where top talent could come together - regardless of their background - and access three of the most important things when it comes to self-actualization? Those 3 for us are:
- A trusted community built on merit where to belong;
- Opportunities for continuous personal and professional development;
- Careers where people can express their true selves and feel accomplished.
While today some institutions provide access to those to a certain extent, they are accessible to a small minority and they also fail to keep up with a dramatic change in talent needs. Therefore, we saw a great opportunity emerging: building the global top talent network based on merit that would support present and future leaders in capturing their full potential.
We have evolved and we are taking off
The rebranding is happening exactly when the 3 evolutionary lines, that started off at the beginning of 2020, have intersected and are ready to boost the entire organization to new heights bringing us closer to our vision. The 3 evolutionary lines that kicked off in 2020 were:
- A member first strategy: In a market where talent (supply) is scarce, it was clear that our north star ought to be our members and we had to devote our little resources and time to listen to them and build the network together. Taking that decision has been key for us to develop a wide range of services that our members came to love, and added unique value to their lives. We suddenly became more focused, and our attention was not split, we accelerated our value creation to members significantly.
- Bring technology and product at the core: we initially built the platform we use to assess members’ applications at scale via external consultants. While that was convenient to kick things off, we soon realized that to build a strong culture and to make sure everything would fit well in one picture, we had to bring technology to the core of the company and make it a key enabler of our global growth. We, therefore, built an in-house product and tech team of super Novas that has enabled the organization to serve both members and clients in a whole new way. The first few months were about house-cleaning, tech stack migration, database redesign, etc. But once that debt was paid, we took off at a whole new speed and the results of that will soon be tangible for our members and clients alike (no spoilers yet).
- Strengthen our human touch: we realized that serving top talent and empowering them requires more than just technology and community management. If we wanted to accomplish the degree of impact we were going after, we needed to make sure our Novas were taken care of in all the key decisions of their career. Therefore, we formalized the role of Talent Agents. They dedicate their time to making sure the power of the network is fully unleashed by connecting members to one another and to the right opportunities. Some of our talent agents are trained psychologists who support the members in delicate professional decisions and during mentally tough situations while always keeping a pragmatic view on their overall career development. They ultimately make sure our members can capture their full potential throughout their membership.
These changes had profound implications on the business from the way departments are organized to the way we serve our clients and members. Not to mention that the crew of 7 soon became a crew of now 52 brave astronauts, which added a few layers of beautiful complexity. The end result of this evolutionary trajectory is a company that has moved to its next stage of evolution and it's now better equipped to go after its vision, generate more impact, and create more value for its shareholders (among those there also 180 members who joined our member-exclusive crowdfunding campaign in 2021). It is therefore the right time to bring that change in a more visible form via a new brand identity that captures our soul better: members first, world-class technology, and human touch. In the launching video you can see our new identity coming to life.
Is that a starship?
Now getting to our isologotype, it’s the very first time Nova has one isotype. Up until today we only had a logotype, the simple Nova word which we’ve abbreviated with an “N” for our social media channels.
The isotype symbolizes many elements that stem directly from our soul and make our vision and values more tangible.
The overall isotype should convey a sense of uplifting and empowerment as it points up to the sky. We also want this to be a badge of honour since being accepted signifies that people belong to the top 3% of talent their age.
We also wanted to play a bit with the space theme. As you might know, in astronomy, novas are stars who shine a bit brighter than others, thus in a more abstract form, we see a small spaceship taking on a galactic journey.
The isotype also captures the power of the connections enabled by Nova, both members to members, and members to companies and opportunities. This is why, you see 2 elements divided by a line, that should almost urge you to connect those two sides which symbolize what we do on a daily basis: connecting people to each other and to the right opportunities.
That dividing line in the middle, for us, symbolizes the development trajectory we catalyze in our members’ life. It is inspired by the trajectory of a star or even the orbit of a space object. The trajectory slightly tilts at the end to remind ourselves that a human journey should not always be in hyper-acceleration towards new heights, but it’s also ok to slow down every now and then to reconsider our priorities and what matters to us in life.
Vulnerability is something we try to promote in our network as top performers often don’t allow themselves to step back and let the pressure go, the isotype will therefore remind us all that while being shiny stars able to change the world, we are, after all, humans.
Bringing it all together, whether you are a member or a curious reader, you should now have most of the elements to relate to why we rebranded the company. Ultimately, it is a unique symbol that has not yet any connotation, abstract but still grounded to the company’s soul and vision. We hope our members will be proudly wearing it and sharing it as a symbol of professional and human excellence, identifying even more this global community and the impact we are having on this world together.
To the stars and beyond 💫