“Branding is arguably the most powerful business tool since the spreadsheet.”
— Marty Neumeier
I recently re-read one of branding’s icon books, The Brand Gap: How To Bridge The Distance Between Business Strategy and Design, by Marty Neumeier. Once again this book stunned me in its artful distillation of what branding is and isn’t.
The key takeaways that I underlined and highlighted in the book are:
• A logo, or any other trademark or icon, is not the brand itself. It’s merely a symbol for it.
• A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company
• Our society has moved from an economy of mass production to an economy of mass customization.
• The degree of trust I feel towards the product, rather than an assessment of its features and benefits, will determine whether I’ll buy this product or that product.
What is a Purpose-Driven Brand?
I would also add a 5th key element of what makes a brand: purpose. While some may argue that purpose fits under bullet 4 (trust), I call out purpose because it is a new driving force within business. Purpose and trust are intertwined, and yet purpose-driven brands mark a new and exciting development in the very framework of what defines ‘business.’
Purpose-driven brands are pioneering a new path for business as an agent of social and/or environmental change, in addition to being profitable. And, purpose-driven brands are attracting loyal customers in greater and greater numbers, largely because they communicate directly and authentically with their customers, thereby, creating that synergy of “gut feeling” and customization.
As purpose-driven brands grow in numbers and in size they are proof of the business case for triple bottom line or social enterprise business models. Add on the millennial’s push for meaning, combined with new structures to ensure mission and values continue in perpetuity, like B Corp, Benefit Corp, Evergreen Companies and more —and you begin to see real staying power for a new definition of business as change agent over time.
Besides, who doesn’t want to live their passion? To learn more about how Live Creative Studio helps purpose-driven companies tell their stories through strategic branding and sustainability initiatives, give us a call or send us an email.
Remember, if you’re just launching a purpose-driven business or know your brand is stalled or stuck, ponder these questions: What do you live for? What does your brand live for?
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