This is an introduction to the idea of brand.
Created in the interest of aligning everyone on our team, this is by no means a comprehensive guide or step-by-step instructions on how to build a brand.
What is brand?
Importance & Value of Brand
Elements of your Brand
Expressing your brand
01. What is brand?
is not your logo.
Logos and other graphic devices are visual triggers, making us think of an organization.
is not what you say it is.
Author of The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier says “Brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.”
So what is brand?
Brand is the space in people's minds when they think about your organization. It's their gut feeling when they see your logo or hear your name and it's shaped by every experience they have with your organization.
If you do things right, a brand will also earn place in people's hearts.
An excerpt from The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier
02. Importance & Value
Articulating the vision for your brand provides team members (employees, management, leadership) with a clear vision of where your organization is headed – this helps everyone walk uniformly towards the goal.
An organization without a clear brand is like blind-folded person trying to walk straight.
People need to see where they're going in order to arrive at their goal. Without one, they will shuffle their feet but never move forward – this is great time to watch the Why Can't We Walk Straight? video.
Without a clearly defined objective, many decisions can feel subjective – "Should we make the logo red or blue? What font should we use? Which do you prefer?"
These example questions relate to visual design but a well articulated brand can guide many important business decisions once you determine exactly how you want people to perceive your organization.
People's actions towards your organization are based on their perceptions of your organization.
A solid brand helps shape perceptions and drive key actions.
Whether your organization's goals are to break into new markets, hire an top-notch staff, or simply to increase sales, you will need people to take some sort of action.
Before they take any action, people will listen to their gut and rely on their perception of your organization which is shaped with every interaction they have.
First, people interact or become aware of your organization.
Next, their interactions shape their perception of your organization.
Their perceptions dictate their actions – such as buying your product.
The best Advice
The advice you follow never comes from friends, family, and certainly not from any company.
It comes from you – when you tell yourself something, you believe it.
People have more choices when shopping for products and services than any time in history. A solid brand has tremendous value as it allows people to make quick, gut-reaction decisions.
Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want.
― Anna Lappé
03. Elements of a Brand
The following elements help organizations design and brand internally and build it externally.
Your organization's ideal vision of the future.
Your organization's mission to achieve its vision.
Key performance Indicators
What does success look like and how do you measure it?
The things people do to sustain your organization.
How you'd like people to think about your organization.
The non-negotiable principles your team lives by.
Your team's daily behaviours that build your brand.
A distilled summary of the brand and its value.
The emotional value of your organization's brand.
A synopsis of the people in your tribe.
A breakdown of all touchpoints in the purchase cycle.
The relationship between a brand and its sub-brands.
A breakdown of your competition and how you stack up.
The visuals you use to identify your brand.
04. Expressing a brand
Start with Why
Simon Sinek explains how great leaders inspire action – by communicating why they do what they do.
actions > Words
An organization's actions will impact its brand more than its words (advertising).
Actions include everything from internal training, operations, customer services, sponsorships, partnerships, and so much more.
Lips and tongues lie. But actions never do. No matter what words are spoken, actions betray the truth of everyone's heart.
― Sherrilyn Kenyon
05. Additional Reading