Does Your Brand Have Meaning?
The meaning of life. The meaning of Christmas. The meaning of success. So many facets of our lives seem to derive value from their meaning.
What about brands?
A brand begins not as a blank slate but as an empty vessel. The vessel is the product, service, idea or organization the brand will represent. The brand is then built from two directions. The first is from the top down, as the vision of its uppermost leadership sets it in motion. The second direction is from the bottom up, as the product or service, and the people who make it or deliver it, give the brand its initial foundation.
Both directions begin with people. They give the brand its personality. It’s no surprise that within “personality” is the word “person.” Because a brand’s personality comes not from the product or service, it comes from people. The people internally who deliver the brand, and the people externally who accept it – the people who buy it, use it or rely upon it.
Without people, a brand is just a lifeless logo and impersonal (again, the word “person”) tagline. Anyone can design a logo. It is a symbolic representation of a business. And, by itself, it has no more life than the paper on which it is printed.
A brand is so much more. It is the promise you make to your patients, clients and customers every hour of every day. It is what we consider the “brand platform”: the personality, culture, mission, purpose and positioning. It is you, your people, your products or services strategically positioned to be seen, heard and – most of all – felt by your audience.
Think of Coke as a refreshing soft drink? No, it is love in the form of teaching the world to sing, or making someone’s day brighter. Think Pepsi is just another Coke? No, it is fun, a lifestyle, it is Beyoncé and Katy Perry.
So, where does a brand derive its meaning? From people. Meaning is the spirit that gives a soda essential value, and the people who buy it a great feeling. Meaning is the experience and skills of an exceptional medical staff that give a healthcare organization pride and recognition, and the hopeful feeling that brand passes on to patients and families.
Does your brand speak for its people? Does it speak to the people it serves? Take a close look deep inside. Is your brand still an empty vessel?
Fill it with meaning.
We are brand design experts who deliver transformative ideas to the nation’s marketing professionals and CEOs as they seek guidance, clarity and excitement for their brand.
We would love to hear more about what you have in mind for your next project. Call Greg Daake at 402.933.1094.