Actually, I know it doesn’t. Most people get this wrong when talking about brand. Maybe you do too.
It usually starts the same way
You have a business, product, or service that you just know the people are going to love. All you need is some great branding. An amazing name, logo, or website so everyone can see it like you do.
There are a few options.
You could design it all yourself. After all you have a pirated copy of Photoshop. Choose a name, select a font, create a mark. How difficult could it be?
No. This project is special. It needs a little more finesse than you can provide on your own. You know a few people who dabble in this sort of thing. Maybe they would be willing to do it for cheap? Better yet, free.
Eventually, if you’re smart, you come to the conclusion it’s time to call in the professionals. When you find these people you start to realize that you were looking at brand all wrong.
What is a brand anyway
When you hear talk about branding people like to discuss logos, colors, name, and all the like. But as our friend (Chris, can we call you a friend?) Chris Lema points out, your brand isn’t any of those things.
A brand, at its core, is how a person feels about a company, product, or service. It’s visceral and in most cases very individual. When a large portion of people begin to feel the same way, you’ve got a brand.
How the professionals do it
A few months ago we began on a journey to one place but yesterday we arrived at a completely different destination. We hired the awesome folks at Focus Lab to create a complete new look and feel for our Ninja Forms product.
The goal was to take what is our most popular WordPress plugin and give it the image it deserves. During the discovery process they asked us things about our customers. They dug into the functionality of the product. Most importantly they made us reflect on our ethos.
They didn’t just design us some logos. They made us think about our brand.
Reinforcing not rebranding
This process helped us discover something about ourselves. We didn’t need a rebranding. We needed some direction in reinforcing the brand we had already so diligently created.
We needed a cohesive image that would tie all of our products together. We wanted each product to build on to the brand we’ve established with the others. We were looking for a unified experience whenever anyone interacted with any of our products or services.
We didn’t know this going into the project, but that’s what working with the professionals will do. They will get you to the right destination and not just the one you thought you wanted.
Thinking about your brand is important
It’s true. Your brand is more about what people feel about you then what you say about yourself. In many ways it’s out of your control. But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless. You are the biggest influencer of those feelings.
When it comes to your brand you decide each and every day the direction you’re going.
Be deliberate. It would be awful to wake up one morning and discover your reputation is garbage because you left it to chance.
Be consistent. You’ll have bad days and do things you aren’t proud of. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Your brand isn’t defined in a single day.
And for crying out loud, hire a professional. I personally would recommend Focus Lab. Your brand is too important to leave it to amateurs. You might even discover some things you didn’t know about yourself.
Are you battling questions about your brand or have some insights you’d like to share? Let’s discuss.