It isn’t, which is why I still get confused when people get it wrong. Here’s Five Points To Get Right Branding. (It’s also how to live as a human being by the way!)
Branding is all about clarity of message. Super strong brands can convey their company in a single mark, NIKE for example. It’s about clarity all the way. Visual Clarity, for graphics. Message Clarity, for all communications. Purpose Clarity comes first, why do you even exist? Clarity in Branding is a start to finish job, and there is no finish. Clarity should be baked in, totally, into absolutely everything.
What are the ‘competition doing?’ WRONG QUESTION! Why do you even care what anyone else is doing? You should only care about what YOU are doing! Absolutely and totally. What are you going to do, look at everyone else, then try to mold yourself into the gaps between them, to create your own ‘identity’? imagine doing that. Then take away all the ‘Competition’ and see what shape you are. You’re the shape of all the gaps and spaces and missing bits, you’re a mess of a shape! You’re like a jellyfish! You have no form! Why? Because you were inauthentic, trying to please the imagined market rather than actually being something meaningful and powerful and AUTHENTIC. That’s how to please the market, by being the most authentic version of yourself. As a Brand you’re trying to have a relationship with Millions Of People! Are you going to achieve that by being the real you, or by trying to be what you think those millions want you to be? How do you run your personal relationships? Right. Don’t be a spineless jellyfish. Be an upright mammal.
Authenticity leads to originality. Now choose a name. An original one. How to tell if it’s original? Go to any one of a number of domain registrars and check if the .com is available. If you’re in the UK, check if the .co.uk is available. If the domain is taken, you weren’t being original. Try again. And Again. And Again. You’ll soon learn to be more original in your thinking! See peer to peer business loans lender Rebuilding Society for an example of a good match of Clarity of Purpose, Authenticity, and Originality. Plus they’re one of my consultancy clients, so I’m happy to promote them.
Be quirky. Cool. A slight edge that says you’re awesome, but you’re not revealing 100% of your awesomeness, not yet, maybe not ever, just more and more awesome, each time, with a little bit of mystery. This keeps people interested, keeps them in relationship with you, if they think you’re the finished article, the completed version, they’ve nothing more to discover, suddenly you’re yesterday’s news, you’re a known thing, all answers and no questions, worst possible outcome, you’re Boring and those lovely people you were in a relationship with suddenly get their heads turned and POW you got dumped baby! OUCH! That hurts, bad, and then, worse still, you have to try to attract them back, and they won’t respect you for desperateness, so it’s hard times! Stay quirky, stay Authentic and Original, stay moving!
Never stop. Never stand still, for more than a moment, always be moving, changing, adapting, growing, love yourself for the strange and beautiful thing you are. Brand or human, keep going, keep changing and growing, become more fabulous with every breath, and stay humble, serve people with your purpose. Never stop learning, be a grownup when you need to be, and a child the rest of the time. Stay young in heart. Play. Serve. Create.
Now how hard was that?
Co Founder and former editor of The Fintech Times, weekly columnist for Yorkshire Post, Fintech consultant and journalist.