Just Plain Backwards…. that is the only way to look at how most organizations understand brand.
A brand is a guide, a way forward, the point man holding the torch, the organization following bravely on the path ahead. A Driven Brand has a forward looking vision and a destination to pursue. History, positioning and purpose steer the course of this committed company onward and upward. Clarity guides the decision making and navigates the opportunities, circumstances and challenges along the way.
Reality is: most organizations put their most important asset in stasis. They design a look, some “words” and leave the real strength, the “mojo”, to gather dust. They don’t speak brand, don’t train brand, don’t refine it, review it, update it, parade it, blog it, make it or live it.
Style Guides are a great example. In the desire to be sure to protect the brand, strict rules on image use, color, how to put it on letter head, who can use it, who can change, etc. etc. etc. are codified, then filed. Scribd has more than 137,000 documents posted on the term “style guide”! The end result is reduced creativity, a dulling of the brand and to much focus on the image and not enough on substance.
Yes, you spent a bunch of money getting the azure (or turquoise, or spiced pumpkin) just so. And a whole bunch more writing the do’s and don’ts. Why not keep the logo and tag line you already have (psst… people already know it and recognize it) and spend the money training your staff how to work with customers … how to be creative and innovative.
Simple question Ia): will you buy a Pepsi on the way home today because Pepsi spent millions of dollars to refresh their logo, and change all their packaging, and all of their marketing and all of their corporate stationary, ad infinitum? Will the “gravitational pull” of the new logo lead you to the cooler in the back of the store?
Simple question Ib): Would you buy a Pepsi on the way home today if Pepsi had taken all of that money and instead used it to bring refrigeration to an underdeveloped country? or to clean dirty waterways outside of a bottling plant? or to install a desalination plant in the middle east? or….