Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Brand DNA and the Founding Brain

Creating all of the parts of a brand is a tricky, complex trail. In a well managed brand everything said, done, printed, published or promoted has to look like it came from none but one origin.

At my firm the latest iteration of our brand is chugging toward a grand launch, and as the number of pieces within the brand increase so too increases the difficulty of keeping it all together.

It's a function really of the number of hands that touch different parts as the number of parts continues to grow.

I am fortunate to have a 'founding brain' to turn to with every creative and practical question.

Today it was refining the initial ad layouts that will publish on the day of launch. The question; Do the pictures, words, and layout all equal the foundation of our brand (the essence of the firm and instant impression we wish to make)? The only person that can answer that, and make the proper tweaks is the 'founding brain'. In this case it is the wizard of a brand consultant that initially discovered and put words to the reality of what my firm is.

As the branding project has progressed from its simplest form to the many, many parts it is today I have kept near me this person with the original kernel of DNA. Even when I show him something that he was not a part of developing he can immediately identify its fit (or non-fit). He's like a family historian... so tuned to the intricacies of our brand genealogy that he can tell in a sniff if something is related or not.

My advise: Keep your 'founding brain'. Many consultants come and go; are in favor and then out; appear to have much purpose and then suddenly less. If your consultant is the genius (like mine) who discovers your brand essence then it is pretty likely that only he/she can best keep everything together and on message.
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