“A cool logo does not make you a brand.”
My life’s work has been about creating brands, building brands, growing brands and reinventing brands. And each day I see the term brand used, is another day my heart breaks a little bit more as the word seems to become more misunderstood. And don’t get me wrong, it is perfectly OK to simply have a great business, but a great business is not the same as having an awesome brand.
What A Brand Is Not.
An Instagram account
A paint color
A business card
What A Brand Is
A brand is an entire experience. How I feel when engaging with you and the decisions and actions I take (over time) because of that feeling. i.e. click, call, book, tell my friends.
A brand is…
Which ultimately leads to a decision and choice to take action. Over time. Again and again.
According to Seth Godin, the master of all things marketing and one of my most early mentors of marketing… “A brand’s value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.”
Several elements go into creating a brand of long term value. And yes, brand identity (logo, colors, fonts, image, etc.) is a part of creating an awesome brand, but it is not the brand. Big difference.
You can have a beautiful logo and no brand recognition.
You can have a cute sticker but no brand value.
You can have a beautiful building but no clients.
You can have a killer Instagram following but no relationships.
You can have a beautiful paint color but no connections.
You can have a fancy, overpriced website but no visitors.
You can sell a product or service one time but have no repeat clients over time.
So let’s play a game…
When you think of Passion Squared, how do you feel?
When you chose to do business with, follow or subscribe to Passion Squared, why did you make that choice?
When you recommend Passion Squared to your friends, what do you tell them and why?
When you engage with a Passion Squared coaching session, workshop or class, how do you feel when you leave?
If you said you feel empowered, have more clarity, feel loved, inspired, informed, you trust me, it feels like I understand you; that is when my brand has created some form of value for you and you made a choice of exchanging time and money for that experience.
And know this… All the work I have done over the last 5 years building the Passion Squared brand got us to this point. Each move I make, each workshop I teach, each program I create, each story I tell, each piece of content I share, each blog I write, its all strategic. Its all by design. And quite frankly, it has nothing to do with my cool logo. Cause the reality is, I had the logo long before you chose to engage with my brand. And the logo was meaningless and had no value, without all the other efforts I have put into creating something of value for you, consistently, over time. Again and again.
However, when you see my logo, if you know my brand, it inspires a feeling. A feeling I work daily to create. You see how this works? It’s not as simple as someone saying, “I am going to teach you branding”.
Creating a brand of value is much more than a cute logo or a bunch of followers on Instagram. Remember that.
Love + Awesomeness-
PS: I also wrote about this topic a few years ago here.