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Say It Like You Mean It

Making an Impact—d.light

// MAKING AN IMPACT: a regular feature about businesses that make a positive impact in the world while engaging customers with good design and clear copy. //

The word delight is one of my favorites. I don’t use it often when I speak, but every time I hear it or read it, I delight (of course). The word actually lights me up.

So when I came across d.light, “a global social enterprise aiming to improve the lives of the two billion people in the developing world that live without access to reliable energy,” you can imagine what I did. I lit up.

d.light’s website is simple, but it’s organized and the message is clear. I really love the top of their social impact page. The graphics are fun and the statistics are impressive. They have reached 13 million school children with solar lighting. Now that’s an impact.


What’s Your WHY?

If you have not communicated your WHY to your customers or clients, then all your HOW and WHAT will be wasted. Why do you do what you do? Why do your products exist? What is the reason you get out of bed in the morning? Your audience needs to know.

The WHY behind d.light is evident on every page. Their about page features a vision, mission, and goal declaration that says it all:

Power with a Purpose

Vision: d.light envisions a future where everyone is empowered by the freedom and improved quality of life that comes with access to reliable, affordable, clean solar energy.

Mission: d.light is dedicated to providing distributed solar energy solutions for households and small businesses that transform the way people all over the world use and pay for energy.

Goal: Before the end of 2020, d.light will have helped to transform the lives of 100 million people.”

Their about page also tells the story of d.light’s origin. When founder Sam Goldman volunteered for the Peace Corps in Benin, Africa, he witnessed the neighbor’s son get badly burned by an overturned kerosene lamp. He knew there had to be a better way to provide light for families and businesses in developing countries. It’s hard not to be pulled into this story and feel as though I want the very same outcome.

Constructive Feedback

I do find the lowercase treatment of d.light’s name somewhat off-putting. Beginning a sentence with a lowercase letter feels awkward to me. It looks great in the logo, and I understand why they did it, but when other publications write about d.light, not everyone will make that exception to the rule. ‘D.light’ will begin sentences as frequently as ‘d.light’ does. As a result, their branding will not be consistent. The big question—does it matter? Factors such as these should be considered when you’re in the early stages of creating your brand.

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