What is a brand?

Akamai Self Assessment Test

Brand experience

Much has been written, spoken regarding a companies brand. The term brand came into fashion, almost faded away, and came back. What exactly is a brand? And how do you get one? After 23 years helping companies create, extend and innovate on their brands we have gathered some information that may help you examine your next steps in brand creation.

First its about your company

A brand is you, your company and your staff. Each and every company has an interesting story to tell. How they began, or where they are going. The essence of every brand is being able to portray this story in a unique way.

Getting behind a logo or mark

A logo (from the greek word logos meaning the word) is a symbol. A symbol of your story. Since recorded history a mark of some sort has represented everything. Why you may ask? Because we are visual creatures. We interpret things through pictures, symbols and marks. The alphabet is at its base level 26 pictures that have sounds attached to them.

Your logo or mark should represent your story, it should be compelling and have a reason for looking the way that it does.

It doesn’t end online

Far too much emphasis is placed online. A website is one part of your story or brand. Granted it is fast becoming the most accessible part of your company, but the brand only begins here. Your website should begin to tell the story and your other marketing materials such as brochures, presentations even business cards should extend your story into the physical dimension.

Your competition

Websites are all beginning to look the same. In some part the medium drives a certain level of sameness. There are certain base rules to be followed for a number of reasons such as readability and information architecture. While this may be so there are a number of sites that continue to look the same. This is due to the copy factor. My competition’s site has this navigation item on it so we need one, or i really like the way my competition speaks about this area of the business. By trying to one up the competition we end up making ourselves just like them. In a sense we steal their story and try to make it our own.

What next?

Your brand is your unique story to tell, and a story ebbs and flows just like you and your company. Do not be a slave to a logo, or your brand guidelines. Do not follow the herd. Be brave and tell your story the only the way you know, and when your story changes, evolve your brand.