MINT (Minnesota Interpreters and Translators)
MINT is big on mission and values, and they wanted a visual brand that would convey that message.
José Tori was referred to the Business Advising program at Pacific Community Ventures by our partners at MEDA in Minnesota. José owns MINT (Minnesota Interpreters and Translators). Founded in 2013, MINT’s mission is to empower people through the use of language and culture to ensure accurate communication and clear understanding. They do this through translation, transcription, and interpreter services for companies, governments, and other organizations.
When our team spoke to José , we learned that he had determined it was time to revamp his visual brand. MINT is big on mission and values, and they wanted a logo that would convey that message. An important part of matching José with an advisor was going to be finding someone who not only understood the value of the mission, but could also help MINT convey that value to potential business partners.
The Business Advising team paired José with Gianne (Gigi) Middleton, a competitive analysis, marketing, and branding specialist, and MBA candidate at Cornell University. Gigi was originally from the UK and worked as an analyst for the internal index team of the London Stock Exchange doing data analysis to help them grow their brand.
The initial objective of José and Gigi’s partnership was improving the MINT brand through better content, communication, and visual design. The pair broke down this mission into three distinct parts:
- First they worked MINT’s general promotion and marketing. Jose and Gigi did interviews with existing translators, gathering feedback with an easy template they made. Those stories were then used on the website and in promotional materials.
- Second, they improved the MINT website both from a design and a tactical perspective, looking at whether information was easily accessible to current users and ensuring new clients could easily contact them.
- Lastly, José and Gigi looked at a new logo and the specific details of the image, focusing on what message the design and brand would convey.
José and Gigi’s partnership has taken them both a long way. We asked José about his experience working with Gigi and the value of mentorship to MINT’s business. He said, “Gigi’s a researcher, if I was looking for something slightly different, it came in the form of her providing extensive lists of research, you want X – let me see how this is done, how have other companies done it. Researching big companies and implementing some of the tactics into our own organization by breaking it down and making it attainable for a smaller organization. That’s why we started with the logo – we wanted to make it our own and Gigi helped us with a step by step guide on that.”
As a volunteer-based program, the Business Advising program strives to provide our mentors with engagements that they will find valuable and rewarding – and Gigi was no exception. We mentioned earlier that Gigi was seeking an MBA when she began mentoring, with that completed she was able to utilize her experience to find a new career path!
Gigi told us, “I am now a consultant at American Express. During the interview process they talked about small business enterprises and trying to get them financial services. I was presented a case study with a small business organization and was able to draw on my experience working with José and volunteering with PCV and that experience gave me the perspective of a small business owner. We had to do competitive analysis, who were their competitors, who are their consumers, what do they need to serve them, and how to keep it cost effective. I gained an understanding of small business and was able to tie that into my interview process, understanding how to be an intermediary and partner to a small business from a corporate perspective.”
José and Gigi continue to meet about once a month to do updates and continued planning. With José’s new website and logo set to launch, MINT’s future is looking sweet! Our team is always excited to see the end results of long term engagements, and this partnership has been great to watch. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of the launch, and appreciative of José and Gigi for sharing their story with us!