It’s quite simple really; there is the brand and there are the things you wish to put the brand on. These are the choices that define your brand’s success or failure.
There are volumes written on branding - worthy tomes. Unfortunately, too many perpetrate the myth that branding is the privilege of the brand magicians and administered by the brand police. We think it is time to redress the balance and give branding back to the brand owner. We are making a stand for simplicity and common sense. Branding is a natural phenomenon - nature knows the power of branding using signs to communicate between members of the same and different species the common language of sex, danger, deception and attraction. Nature uses signs to convey messages that say “stay close, leave alone…” We believe that this natural process is at the centre of even the most complicated business brand strategy. As in nature, recognition is at the heart of branding - visibility is its purpose.
To understand branding in a business context it is useful to use the Wild West as the metaphor. In Texas there are 250,000 registered ‘brands’. In Texas, a brand is a mark ownership - simply, this steer comes from the ‘Double Bar’ ranch and that one comes from the ‘Triple X’ ranch etc. It is important to know that a brand represents a mark of ownership. One steer distinguished from another. Just a point, but worth making here, the brand itself is burnt into the rump of the animal, this is enough to declare ownership. Business 2 business companies often want to do the equivalent of brand the whole flank of the animal. B2B companies often end up shouting their ownership at their customers. Often B2B brands dominate the message that is being branded. To be recognised you just need to be seen. A brand is a whisper not a megaphone. We don’t need to visually ‘shout’ to be visible. Visibility is enhanced by subtlety; less definitely is more.
Branding is a reductive process. In the early days of business life often the owner desires the brand to say everything, this is not the role of the brand. The brand should not tell the story; the brand must hero the story, by being secondary to it. Really mature brands become so reduced they almost disappear and recognition is delivered through the colour, typeface or symbol alone - the Nike tic, the orange orange, the BP Helios