What is a brand anyway? Is it just your logo or how funky your website is?

So often when people say to me they are re-branding, what it means is that they are schuushing up their graphics a bit to bring things up to date. Which is fine and good but probably not rebranding in any meaningful way.

Think of brands which inspire you. We recognise thousands. Starbucks? Cath Kidston? Virgin? Those words are more than names – they make you think of a certain lifestyle, a certain personality, a certain style. Which is quite an achievement when you think about it.

Your brand is everything you are and everything people say about you – inside and outside your organisation. It’s how people are spoken to on the phone, it’s how easy your site is to navigate, it’s how welcome they feel in your building, it’s whether your product or service delivers on its promise.

A strong brand knows in a really deep way who they are, what is important to communicate, how to create a perception which is authentic to who they are, and who build loyalty and meaning around their brand. They also know who they are communicating to and why.

This then informs all the ‘touchpoints’ of their organsiation – the logo and packaging, answerphone messages and uniform, staff training and even their product and service. So everything shines the values in a clear and exciting way to the right people in the right way.

Having a strong brand creates consistency, aligning all the experiences of the company/organisation around the brand, reinforcing and demonstrating the values and beliefs of the brand.

So creating a logo is quite a tricky job. But building a brand, a reputation, a position is far trickier and a lot more involved. But ultimately far more satisfying.

I’m chatting with a few charities about this at the moment. It’s fascinating, and a great clarifying process.