Think of Your Brand as a Living Organism
Think of Your Brand as a Living Organism
Ever have a baby or a toddler in your life? How about a vegetable or flower garden? Or a pet? Did any of these take care of themselves? Nope. And why? Because each is an organism, a living entity that, in the case of children, gardens, and pets, requires support and care in order to survive. If they didn’t have some help, they’d likely die.
Now, apply that same line of thought, the concept of a living organism, to your brand.
An organism is a complex structure of interdependent elements that function together to support and sustain the whole entity. That describes a person, a plant, and an animal. Most certainly, it also describes a brand.
Rebranding Helps Brands Evolve
Brands aren’t sculpted from granite or forged from steel. They are conceived. And, unlike granite and steel, they change and grow. Take GEICO auto insurance. Despite being privately-held, it actually stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. Since its founding in 1936, the autos the company insures, and the marketplace, have evolved considerably – and the company’s brand identity has evolved to match. To attract buyers who find “insurance” synonymous with “boring,” and to help that new audience embrace its name, GEICO adopted a brand mascot. Today, that little green gecko with the Cockney accent is recognized everywhere – and so is GEICO auto insurance.
It is just one example of a brand that, with proper, timely refinement and rebranding expertise, has become the living embodiment of a very profitable vision.
Growth is a Specialized Process
Rebranding is a process that is both complex and fluid because no two brands have the exact same problems. The first step is to set a true course through self-examination. Who are you, how did you get here, and what do you believe in? These questions must be answered to give your brand substance and direction.
Once your collective values, principles, and strengths have been defined, your rebranding consultant can use the information as a foundation upon which to build an identity. This requires analysis, interviews with key leadership, researching customer perceptions, and conducting a brand audit. As the process defines and refines your brand strategy and positioning, your consultant will design the proper tools that tell your unique story in the most captivating, enduring manner possible.
From logo to tagline, signage to website, rebranding ties together every element of your brand to distinguish it from your competition, and give your clients and customers a clearer choice.
Keep Your Brand Relevant
You can put a product on a shelf but not a brand. Once a brand is delivered, once it occupies space in the marketplace, it must continue to attract attention. It has to evolve and grow in order to remain relevant.
Pepsi Cola is a great example. Its red, white and blue logo has changed little since its introduction in 1971. But its spokespersons have kept it competitive in an overcrowded marketplace. From Michael Jackson and Ray Charles through Beyoncé and Jeff Gordon, the people who represent Pepsi have been icons of their time – infusing life into a brand and keeping it relevant, for every generation.
Live Your Brand from the Inside Out
Because so much of your brand flows from within, employee advocates are your greatest source of strength in a rebrand. To succeed, a rebrand must involve a broad cross-section that slices through every layer of your organization, from the longest-serving to the newest hires. Principles, ethics, and ideals are human concepts, and to include them in a brand means involving people – lots of people – in the rebranding process.
Once it is revealed, a living brand is a never-ending play, and every person in your organization has a role in producing that play. People see the play whenever they experience the brand, and then, like it or not, they tell others. To have its best chance to succeed, your brand has to be championed by your people. They need to feel the brand, embrace it, and carry it with them into the community. People who believe in a brand give it a personality. They give it relevance. They keep it alive.
You Can’t Afford the Alternative
A baby without food will suffer and cry. A hungry dog will bark and gnaw on splintered bone. An un-watered plant will wither and die. A brand that is revealed to glorious accolades but then left on its own to languish in a crowded marketplace will lose its energy. When that happens, competitors will gain ground. Staffs will shrink. Black ink will fade to red. Doors will close.
Are you doing everything you can to keep your brand relevant and alive? You’re the one responsible, and you have two options. Either you care for your brand, or you don’t care at all.
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.