In the last few weeks, I’ve had the euphoric experience of becoming a father again.
As I witnessed every sequence and component of the birthing, I couldn’t help but think about how this may relate to creative professionals, and to the birth of a brand.
Even before the moment of conception, there was an idea—a plan. An idea to expand our family lineage, deepen our roots, and ultimately to grow our family. Each part of the process was built upon another and designed to inform the next step. The analysis. The plan. The execution. The design. The refinement. The growing pains. The delivery. And, most importantly, the communication or announcement.
Let’s zoom in for just a moment. If you focus specifically on the development process of the baby itself as it lives inside the mother, you’ll notice that a lot happens in forty short weeks. Each part of the process happens in a predetermined and specific order. The formation of each cell. The construction of each body part. The precise combination and application of physical traits. And, the functionality of each component as it relates to another.
In order to successfully plan for, design and launch an organization’s brand, a similar process must be followed. When most people hear the word brand, they immediately think of a company’s logo—the identifier. However, when you call to mind one or more of the people that you’re most fond of, you probably don’t focus on just one or two of their physical traits—for example, eye or hair color. These may be ways that you identify them, but there are many more characteristics that make up the unique person that you know and love.
The core of a brand consists of two components—the voice (I know you), and the identifier (I recognize you). Although tightly interwoven, each component functions differently and should be evaluated independently. The voice of a brand is not unlike the familiar sound of a parent’s voice to an infant—soothing, comforting, strong, and reassuring. It lets them know that everything is going to be okay, and that you’re there to protect and take care of them. Infants become used to hearing their parents voice—their manner of speech, their word choice, and their tone. It’s this consistency that helps serve as a guide point throughout their journey of life.
The same is true for people that choose the products or services of an organization. People are often comforted by the familiarity of a brand’s voice. How the members of a company speak about their products. How they articulate their services. The promise they make about the support they will provide to their patrons. The best brands have a strong and unwavering voice, which allows the company to instill confidence and build trust with their audience.
As people begin to connect these two elements (the voice and the visual form), loyalty begins to be established. And, this is a sign that you've done a great job of raising your brand to be an upstanding member of the community.