Three years ago I sat facing the very same screen I’m staring into just now. My business partner and I spent that day throwing around several logo ideas before landing on the one you have currently come to recognise as NapSack Hammocks – the silhouette of a hobo carrying a knapsack on their shoulder.
The knapsack is quite symbolic of our products – it’s a play on words; ‘a nap in a sack.’ Before opting for that, like most businesses we played around with a lot of ideas for the name, the brand, we looked at ways that we could incorporate brand synergy and spent a lot of time on imaging. It was a lot of hard work, but equally enjoyable, educational and rewarding.
Once we decided on the name, we then turned our attention to the logo. We looked around at the market, viewed different vectors online and got on to creating our own. We threw lots of different ideas around and we spent hours, days, weeks drawing up logos, going back and forth, going into paint 3D, making minor adjustments and wholesale changes, looking and analysing each and then eventually plumping for the one we felt spoke to the masses and that people could get on board with. And so to this day three years on that's been our logo and we didn’t think anymore about it.
Today we were given reason to look at it again. Someone, on a forum I run, suggested that our logo could be interpreted as being somewhat racist! My immediate reaction was to go on the defensive. How dare someone suggest that we could produce a racist logo. We, at Napsack Hammocks, pride ourselves in being universally inclusive. That someone might think otherwise is deeply upsetting
So naturally today when it was flagged up, I did get a bee in my bonnet about it. I did get defensive, but when I sat down and I listened to what Tom had to say, I understood where he was coming from. That said, it would have been very easy to just simply ignore it. After all it’s just one person, in 3 years, right? Wrong! One person is one too many and as a company we took a business decision to change the logo, and it's actually given us a great opportunity to move forward.
Having now gone back and looked at that logo and changed it, actually what was originally born out of this morning’s frustration, with a quick two minute fix has almost transformed our brand and more than that, I think what we’ve now achieved promotes inclusivity irrespective of race, religion, sexuality, gender, size, shape disability etc, etc.
I believe that one of the great things that sets our product apart is if you are 5 or 7 foot tall we’ve a hammock to suit. If you’re 100 or 400 pounds we’ve a hammock to suit irrespective of race, colour, creed, etc. No matter your gender, you could be male, female, gender fluid, non binary, you could be gay, bisexual, straight, could be trans or a transgender person, irrespective of any background our hammocks are universal.
By removing the features on that face which offended, and by giving it a universal look, I think going forward this gives us a platform to build on. It's not only given our logo a rebirth, it’s also giving us the opportunity to sit down and look at something objectively. Whilst we may neither see nor understand why someone could be offended, we can still accept it and do our very best to change it.
One of the things that we stand by that makes us such a good company is that we do listen to our customers, our future customers, our peers. We listen to what people have to say and we value their opinion. We’re approachable, were friendly, we’re trusting and we’re trustworthy. I think those qualities build brand loyalty.
NapSack Hammocks isn’t just about a couple of guys trying to flog some hammocks, it's about education and community. If we want to be part of that community and especially if we want to help lead, then we need to be educated as well and today was a day for us to learn.
We all have a responsibility to not only educate but to listen. We need to take these lessons home with us, we need to put them into practice and learn from them. The hope is that what we have learned today, as with all education, we can take that material and pass it on to others to do likewise and help grow our community responsibly.
Thank you to Tom. Our responsibility today was to listen, to act and then to share. It is now incumbent upon others to do likewise.