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Brands Aren’t Logos

They aren’t slogans or tag lines either. A brand is the way a person feels about your company, especially when that feeling is strong enough to cause a person to act (buy your stuff, complain on social media, etc.) This has a couple implications.

1. Your brand isn’t what most people feel about your company, it’s what each individual person feels about your company. Dave Carroll was a loyal United Airlines customer until they broke his guitar and refused to pay for a new one. Their actions changed the way he felt about their brand. So he wrote a song called “United Breaks Guitars,” put a video on youtube and changed the way millions of other people felt about the United brand.

2. Your brand isn’t what people think about your brand either. When people camp out in front of the Apple store, they aren’t doing it because they think they’re going to get something cool. They’re doing it because they feel so excited that they can’t sleep, they can’t stay in their house, they can’t let anything stop them from getting that device.

When you start a rebranding project the first question isn’t what colors should we use or what should we do with the logo, it’s how do people feel about our company? How do we want them to feel? What can we do to effect that change? The answer might not have anything to do with a logo or a tagline.