Food for thought

Story Brand.jpg

When people think about their brand they're often drawn to their name or logo. Maybe the tone of voice they use or the way they look and feel.

And all of those are indeed part of your brand, but it’s probably far more helpful to think of the first two - your logo and name - as shorthand for your brand. The second examples, your tone and look, are the way you bring to life your brand when you have to write or design something.

That is to say that these representations of your brand are only as valuable and useful as the work you’ve put in to defining a clear story in the first place. And that’s why this course is focussed on the story you tell about yourself, the way you explain what you do, and not the way you bring that to life.

A name or a logo are only reflections of something more meaningful. No matter how nice your logo is it can’t cover up a lack of a decent product or misunderstanding of who your audience is. And the opposite it true too: an ugly and weird sounding product will still sell if it solves a fundamental problem really well. Just take a moment to think how bad 'The Beatles' is as a name. It doesn't much matter (although it's, as ever, the exception comes when products are nearly identical when a nice name and logo can be a good enough reason to opt with one over the other, but these cases are rare!).

Brand personalities

A quick way to start thinking about your own organisation's brand is to think about the personality you want it to radiate. This is just a starting point, and not as powerful as your completed story, but it's a great first step.

Are you playful or serious? Elite or mass appeal? A friend or an authority?

Download the worksheets below to explore different aspects of your personality and compare how you feel about yourself with your feelings for some famous, global brands.

Story cube - Brand personalities.pdf

Brand families

Another way to recognise the power of brand in this sense of ‘representation’ is to think of brand families. Google, Virgin and Channel 4 are all great examples we've outlined below. You can see how good they are because they all have many tentacles in different products all of which are powered by a central brand.

For Google it's search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Home and Pixel hardware and much more.

For Virgin it’s their planes, trains, media services, gyms and beyond (though Virgin Cola is a living lesson that you can’t just turn your hand to anything no matter how strong your story).

For Channel 4 it’s a suite of TV channels - Channel 4 itself, E4, More4, Film4 - that all share the ring of ‘alternative quality’.

In each of these instances an association by name and logo to a central brand is beneficial. But it’s not *just* the name or logo that does this, it’s what they represent. They are merely mirrors being held up to the quality, consistency and differentiators present in each brand.

For a more in depth guide, please download the PDF below...

Story Cube - What to expect - Food for Thought - Brand Families.pdf

Your job in successfully branding your organisation is not to come up with a great name, or clever and sexy logo, but to come up with a powerful story that can’t be ignored.

Sure, there’s no real excuse not to have a good name or a well designed logo or to do anything else you do as well as you possibly can, but to rely on a great designer before understanding what it is you want to say to your customers is to very much have the tail wagging the dog.🐕

And that's the end of the section. Next, your Health Check...