Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room, goes an old, often quoted saying in the design circles about what branding is, and isn’t.
Kind of blatant for me to say this, but. Here goes. Don’t get into thinking that it’s whatever nice words you put together and play out on your website, and, well, broadcast your brand out as if that means something. It only means something if someone says that about you, to someone else. See how it’s different?
Because, while that might seem right to you, from the inside, the thing is, you don’t know what’s on the label from inside the jar. (That’s another one of those, ‘doncha know it’ thingies.)
‘Treat your brand like a person’
Instead of jargon-laden phrases that no one cares about, like: ‘Professionally cater to meet client needs’ (because, who cares? of course you meet client needs, that should be a given, right?), try this. Try to get the emotion behind your company’s brand and think about that, when you are starting to envision a rebrand.
‘Think of your brand as a person,’ says Hub Spot, in this free online guide to branding. ‘Branding is your organization’s name, logo, color palette, voice, and imagery. It’s also more. It’s that intangible feeling your customers have when they interact with your brand… The purpose of branding is to create relationships with your customers. The easiest way to do this is to treat your brand as a person and understand that you want your customers to do the same,’ they say. ‘To best wrap your head around the branding process, think of your brand as a person. Your brand should have an identity (who it is), personality (how it behaves), and experience (how it’s remembered). Ask yourself these questions about your brand:
- How would your brand introduce itself?
- If it had to describe its own appearance, how would it do so?
- How would your brand talk about your products or services?
- Would it be serious and professional, or would it be humorous and edgy?
- What would someone say about your brand after “meeting” it for the first time?
- What are a few sentences they’d use to describe it?
Fun, right? Off you go then. Go try this. When you’re ready for a consultation with us here, feel free to get in touch.
An online book about branding [pre-internet]
It never hurts to go back in time and remember what branding was before social media. Our studio predates the internet getting so popular and everywhere and so, we have a bit of an archaic collection of resources, admittedly. Sometimes though it’s nice to slow down and simplify, and forget about ‘social media marketing’ fo ra while. I like to review the below resource, sometimes. It’s a free online book.
This is a good one to start with, if you’re looking for an explainer that spells out what branding really is, according to a Stateside, West Coast firm. We used to be a Stateside, West Coast firm, too, but way smaller, and though DK has moved to the opposite side of the world, DK still holds its views about what branding is, and isn’t. Checkit.
‘Your homework assignment is…’
In real life meet-ups with people when we were able to do those, I would always lend my copy of The Brand Gap to clients. This was done as a homework assignment between our first and second sessions. I remember that. I remember the feeling of comfort and familiarity that things became between that meet up, and the next one. ‘I read this… it really clarified things for me.’
Yes. I love that this is now online and free, and I also want to say, most of the work in our portfolio isn’t just done by the hand of Design Kompany, alone. Were it not for the commitment and genuine interest in learning on the part of our clients, too, there is no way in hell we could ever pull off great work. That’s because every single piece that goes out of the door around her needs to be honest. It has to stand for something, yes, but before that, it needs to be real.
Real is where it starts. The passionate brand, the one that draws you in. Emotionally. Has. To. Be. Honest. And true. Our process is designed to get to the heart of the truth of what Is. And make a concept. And say it clearly, cleanly, and with the ease that can only come when yeah, you are what you say you are, and you know it. And so do they, too.