Let's talk about your logo and your brand life. Since the start of the new year I've had four separate conversations about what brand identity means and how to incorporate that brand promise across social touchpoints.
Every business is unique but each of these conversations were nearly identical. They went like this:
KC: Tell me about your brand.
Colleague: Oh! We have our logo - it's great!
KC: Fantastic. That's not your brand, though. Can you tell me a little something about who Biz ABC is?
Colleague: We provide ___ service to ___ customer.
KC: That's what you DO but I'd like to hear you are ARE?
It's always at this exact moment where the crickets start chirping.
Before I go on, let me say that all four of these colleagues are super smart, accomplished in their chosen fields, and super nice people as an added bonus but all are still operating on an old paradigm that said "We are our logo."
Scott Stratton of UnMarketing has been talking about this for years. You might remember the Ritz Carlton customer experience story he shares to illustrate how a global presence, even like the venerable Ritz Carlton, isn't in business today because they have a nice logo. It's about the expectation they've established that your stay with them won't just be a great (lower case) experience but a BOLD ALL CAPS EXPERIENCE.
The first conversation centered around a tech platform that facilitates creative critiquing by ones' peers. It's a fantastic idea and still in beta. Now's the time for them to decide WHO they are by outlining their core brand values. It's the right time to determine what those creative souls -- brave enough to float their ideas out to the universe for praise or commentary -- will gain emotionally from participating.
Another conversation started with, "We always ask ourselves 'what would Prada do'?" I get that. It sounds like they want their customers to have a perception of luxury, of quality down to the last detail. They want to sell aspiration, a piece of a perceived lifestyle. But I still don't know WHO they are or what they stand for. What's the experience I'm going to have if I buy your product that will make me tell all my friends? That's the content I'd like to see them develop -- and of course with impeccable attention to what that content looks like.
What would Prada do? I think they'd start with these three things:
Your brand is a living breathing thing. Your logo is not. That's where we begin in our work together.