Sunday, May 15, 2005

Hello. My Name is Barbara and I am Your Brand

Just about anything is easier to understand if it can be seen. “Branding” is tough to see.... A lot of folks can’'t see it at all. It'’s hard to know what to look for, let alone what to do with it or how to affect it. If you would like to see and feel your firm’'s brand, imagine your brand as a person and give that person a name.

You could name your brand Barbara”, or “Bob”. And like any individual, Barbara (the name of our brand in this example) has a personality, dresses in certain ways, attracts certain types of friends, and has her own set of skills. All these traits correlate nicely to the many parts of a brand.

Take for instance, her clothing. What she “wears” is the graphic standards for your firm. If you have no standard, or multiple people “doing their own thing” (like different letterheads, business cards, email signatures, etc) then Barbara is looking pretty shabby and suffers from multiple personality disorder. It's hard for anyone who meets her to really know her at all because she keeps changing what she looks like.

Or, how does Barbara “talk”? That would be all of the things your firm says about itself in press releases, or in your boilerplate, etc. I'’ve worked with firms that don't have a boilerplate and every partner in those firms has a different way of telling someone about the firm. So Barbara’ comes off as an indecisive babbler! One day she's this, the next she's that....

The people outside AND inside your firm really like; check that, thrive on consistency. If the person and personality of your firm's brand is constantly changing then you're making a whole lot of people uncomfortable and confused.

Anyway, give it a try. Give your brand a name and then start molding that “person” into someone you can be proud of.

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