It’s not about branding, but what kind of branding works!

It’s not about branding, but what kind of branding works!

It’s not about branding, but what kind of branding works!

Let’s make something clear people.

Visuals are not branding.

Logos & trademarks are not branding (your expensive logo neither! Sorry…)

Your website is not branding.

Your office design is not your branding.

Your very cool new promo ideas neither.

Your ad campaign… also, not branding. Your social posts are not branding too. BOOM!

Branding is a system. If it’s not a system, then it’s not Branding

And finally, what the f@%k is happening to brands, with all this mess?

Repeat. Brand is a system. The rest are just elements or communication “weapons” if you prefer.

Using visual elements, verbal elements and every touchable and untouched accessible source, branding is the art of shaping what other people say about you behind your back!

Real branding is a strategic communication execution based on people’s deepest instincts, untold perceptions, and busy minds. Repeat until you feel it on your flesh. It’s not a clear job. It’s deep, sometimes dark and always dirty!

Your brand is not what you sell.
John Iwata


And what about these “logo-based” conversations?

Think about your favorite or most unforgettable logos. Or think about Irene’s: Nike swoosh or Apple’s apple is important because we can memorize them and begin to identify with them over time. The new sustainable marketing approach is clear enough: make deep connections with those specific people who might be interested in exactly what your corporation produces or has to offer.

And now the right question. Finally… How does a logo fit into a brand and how does it help your corporation/product/service connect with specific audiences and potential ideal customers? A logo is a symbol that represents your product/service, but it is not your brand. It is one result of an important complex brand strategy process that seeks to uncover the corporation’s identity.

The logo is a tiny piece of an authentic Brand!

Check the mind mapping difference between brand, brand identity, and logo:

Your logo is the symbol that represents your product or service or a group of them.

It can include images, words, typography, and color. Logos are often paired with a slogan or tagline, such as apple’s “Think Different”. A logo should be one visual element resulting from a comprehensive interdisciplinary branding process, not the objective.

Brand identity is what you do with the logo

This involves how the logo is expressed in messaging and throughout your corporation and the rest of the world, through design, written and visual elements. This includes anything from the logo’s placement, to the tone of voice, advertising and selected keywords used in promotional material. This identity can be spread throughout your brand in many mediums, as many as you can imagine.


Your brand is a holistic picture of your product or service

It includes your strategy, messaging, content, storytelling, customer service, existing customer and potential customer experiences that are all tied to your corporation’s unique DNA. Its combination of DNA elements from the “terroir” of your product or service, which is its sense of place. We are not going to make a list here, do not try either, it’s a trap, we really need 3 clean screens to complete this mapping list.
Your corporation’s marketing (which includes both promotion and product), comes from a deep understanding of this DNA. A good result should be balanced, it should be authentic and it should not lie. It should not try to sell something it cannot deliver. Not even a tiny promise!

Are you creating a new logo? Well, one step back guys. Let’s check your brand’s health first.

Above all, a logo needs to create an emotional response aligned with your product DNA. Emphasizing the relationship between the customer and the product and expressing the deep feeling between this relationship in a “Savoir Vivre” way.

Authentic brand marketers seek these kinds of connections throughout the branding process, of which a logo is only a small part. If you change your logo, it won’t have any impact on your product’s brand. Change your brand, however, and you might have to adapt your logo.

Changing a logo requires a larger effort, so it should not be done simply for aesthetic reasons, for appearing “modern” or “great-style.” A logo change can be one outcome of the branding process, but it cannot be the starting point. If you try this alone is like you start running from the middle of a hill, while you don’t know where the beginning and the ending point is. Oh, and somebody broke your compass, sorry!

Sum up

Macaroons are better than cookies! Brand are better than logos. 

Are you developing your brand strategy? Borrow my brain has helped many dynamic products and service’s as a unique partner through workshops and consultation.To learn how to identify your brand’s DNA and refine your product’s brand, contact us today.

Don’t be shy! And don’t buy cookies.

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