It’s been said that the best romances start as friendships: You know each other, you know the way the other thinks, know which way he or she takes his coffee, and then—bam!—one day you fall in love.
It’s like that with a new brand strategy, too. You have to get to know it. You have to understand why it’s right for your organization—and only your organization—to fully appreciate all its strengths. Then you fall in love. And the next thing you know, you can’t stop thinking about your brand and how it can come alive in everything you do.
If you’ve recently set a new strategy for your organization’s brand, or are considering it, keep in mind that love at first sight isn’t always a realistic goal. Your brand can’t just be good looking; there has to be depth in its soul.
- Great brands, and all the signals they send, are based on a single-minded strategy. What is your brand’s main idea? Does this feel true to your organization?
- Great brands aren’t a flash in the pan. While you may always dream about your valentine’s deep blue eyes, a true, lasting love must be built on something more. There must be long-term compatibility and an investment in the relationship. A great brand shouldn’t just have that initial WOW factor. It should be something long-term, solid, and dependable. That kind of relationship takes time and investment.
- Great brands require a leap of faith. Just as any new relationship needs someone to make the first move and set things in motion, a new brand needs a strong leader to initiate and solidify the organization’s relationship with its new brand strategy. You’ve put all the thinking and work into creating this brand. It’s based on what makes you, as an organization, unique and compelling. And now it’s time to put your faith in that and jump. It might feel awkward at first, just as anything new does, but it’s the first step to falling in love with your new brand.
Recently, a client confided in me that she was a nervous wreck when we presented a new visual identity for her organization. And, though she had originally challenged us to “push the boundaries of traditional design” she was, understandably, nervous about the big changes ahead.
When we presented the new design, she liked it. But even though she loved the brand strategy behind it, she wasn’t yet in love with the new design. Then one day, as the public launch of the new brand and visual identity approached—bam!—she fell in love. Flashbulbs went off as she saw the synchronicity between her organization’s goals, the new brand strategy, and the design of the new visual identity.
Today, this client tells us she wants to tattoo the new visual identity on her arm. She’s fallen deeply in love with her brand, as have her staff and board, which makes them all effective brand advocates.
Our true valentines aren’t just attractive; they have a depth of soul and a quality of character that makes us want to stay with them for the long run. The same is true for brands. Gimmicks and glitz aren’t what ensure our long-term affinity for a brand. The brands we love have a depth of character, a consistency of values, and a clarity of being that we can love for the long haul. Just like a true love, the more you get to know your brand and invest in it, the deeper that connection becomes. Our client is now ready to carve her initials into the tree with her new brand. And if you have a strong brand that you’ve come to know and love deeply, you will too. 4 ever.