“Brand” is one of those words that can be confusing. Everyone knows they need one, but in the journey to uncover what a brand actually is—especially to leverage that knowledge to build one—it can get convoluted.
So what’s a brand and what does it mean for a company?
First, What a Brand is Not
First and foremost, let’s kick off with what a brand is not.
Not Just a Logo
Branding isn’t just a logo and it’s not just a witty slogan.
When your organization began, there was a drive behind it. You had a vision in your mind and it was your goal to see it come to fruition. More often than not, companies are lead in the wrong direction by false branding prophets. They are told that in order to make things work, they need a well designed logo. While a logo is part of the branding process, it does not encompass the story of an organization or what they do.
When starting the branding process with a logo—and staking the entire branding process on logos—rather than centering on something greater, the identity of the organization starts on the wrong foot. That wrong foot leads to another step and an eventual wandering into the wilderness.
Not Just a “Department”
Another common misconception of branding is that is a singular department function.
Some organizations will leave it to the marketing or communications department to fill in any of the gaps that are left open—when a brand is something that should be utilized in every department.
Branding is an intentional practice and not just the visual aspects to an organization. It serves as a function that is carried out on a day to day basis. When embraced in its truest form, branding will infiltrate every corner of a company and unify it.
This will effect everything from the way customer service handles customers to the way sales makes a pitch to the way leadership treats employees.
Brand is a Company’s Way of Life
When embraced fully, branding spreads across the entirety of an organization, working in sync with every department to ensure a consistent image.
A brand, however, is much more than just the image. It is a way of life that is inclusive of the company’s culture and story, image, vision, mission, ethics, direction and everything else that goes into making an organization unique.
Branding, simply put, is a way of life. It is the embodiment of the energy that keeps an organization going and it is utilized by each department to ensure the consistency throughout.
Brand is an Organization’s Central Compass
A brand is a centralized compass that guides all decision making and thus it influences the literal way of life of an organization.
Brand is a Belief System
Chances are, you have a belief system. You have a set of morals that you go by—a style that fits who you are and a story that has guided you to where you are now. All of these things work together as your personal brand. Unless you use your personal brand as a business, you may not think about your day to day practices. You live them.
This is how a brand is meant to be. It is active in every decision and when you make a choice, that reflects your brand.
Before going into the branding process, think about what you want others to see. Make attempts to live out what it is that makes you tick. What do you care about? Who do you want to reach? Let your passion drive your brand.
Center Yourself on a Brand
As an organization, you have to center yourself on that brand. Start by establishing your core beliefs and values. Uncover your true story, your true goals and your ideal tribe. Unify your organization around those concepts and allow them to truly transform the way you communication in every way.
- Looking for a process to build your brand? Check out our branding process here.
By allowing that compass to guide you, you’ll be consistent, focused and on your way to outrageous success.
Let your brand be a living testament to your organization and what it can do for your audience.