When it comes to brands, too often they are shrouded in business speak - but according to one of our branding specialists, Nadine, brands have feelings too, and it’s crucial to take a human direction.
There are times I feel my clients struggle with decision making.
‘Which concept is right?’
‘What should we do if…?’
‘How do we tell this story?’
Most of the time the results are subjective and dependent on personal preference like ‘I don’t like the colour green’. But just as we dress in colours that suit us, our brands are suited to certain looks too, and as such, they have a very human side to them.
Over the course of our lives we come to define who we are. We make decisions based on an invisible set of values and principles – humanely flawed and at times contradictory. But you will likely never meet a person whose values include being ‘customer-centric’.
Our values speak truth, they define how we react to social and environmental change, and what issues we decide to take a stance on. We forge our personalities early, to help us seek others that are kindred and spot those that aren’t. If you craft your brand to have an identity as clear as a person’s, you can predict its behaviour just as you could with a friend.
Asking “Why am I here?” may be a confronting, philosophical question, but a brand without purpose is as lost as any of us. It will work Monday to Friday, but without fire in its belly it will fizzle and possibly endure a mid-life crisis. Find your brand’s dream, then figure out what steps it needs to take to get there, and what people you will need around to achieve that.
Delving into brand strategy might feel like a hindrance or something you’ll get to eventually, but you’ll discover its value immediately when you start attracting the right staff and making strong strategic decisions for your business’s future. It will guide you into healthy relationships and empower your staff with clarity and a shared vision.
Maybe these are all questions you can answer. But honestly, it’s incredibly difficult to see a brand clearly as an owner or manager. You’re a bit too close, and if you ask your clients or employees for the truth, they may drown it in sugar. So just as people seek counsel, cures and even the constellations – a brand needs an outsider now and then, to step back and see it for all it is and all it can be.