Consistently presenting your unified brand message builds trust and brand recognition
When I was 10, one thought changed my world dramatically. I remember clearly sitting with my sister, waiting for our ride home, I had just lost the student council vote for president. Mr. A, a teacher I never had in class before and certainly never spoken to before, walked by and casually said “sorry, it was a tight vote.” Innocuous, yes, but my aha thought was “holy crap, all the teachers know me.” My wheels began spinning, did he count the votes? Is he in charge of the student council? Does he know my grades? Does he know I’m smart, but that my parents recently divorced? What if I actually won the vote, but the teachers think I’m not capable. Context flooded my thoughts. How am I viewed at this school? What do they actually need in a student council president? What sets me apart from the other students?
What are my strengths, my weaknesses?
What do the teachers think my strengths and weaknesses are? Thus began my awareness in personal branding.
We all, knowingly or many times unknowingly, communicate our personal brand. With every interaction we communicate our personality, set a tone and create expectations. The words we choose to use are given context through our non verbal communication, body language, facial gestures, personal grooming, wardrobe and physical appearance. In the corporate world as Walker Smith points out,
“Nothing matters more than context. What consumers see, hear and think about a brand is wholly shaped by the context in which they encounter it, which in turn directly affects what they do and buy.”
When it comes to identity design, few logo designs start out having much inherent meaning. Paul Rand, says a good logo provides the “pleasure of recognition and the promise of meaning.” The promise part takes time and consistency. “It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning,” Rand wrote in 1991. “It derives its meaning and usefulness from the quality of that which it symbolizes.”
Time will pass, your logo will be seen, but in what light? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What should your customers know, feel and remember about your purpose? Brand context starts with consistency, which takes purposeful thought and a plan. Start here an article on 5 steps to achieving brand consistency and message me when you realize you do in fact want, no, need branding guidelines.
I wondered for far too long, if I had actually been in Mr. A’s class, and if he had experienced my daily drive to succeed, my willingness to work hard despite my personal circumstances, maybe I would have become the student council president.
Great article on the power of context.
Check out my other blog post(s) to help you with your brand: 5 Branding Mistakes you are making