We can all agree, a brand is a living, learning, growing thing. Regardless of how you define the term “brand”, if you’ve ever built one, worked on or with one, or known someone who has, you know, bringing a new brand into the world is like having a baby.
Like new parents, new founders are preoccupied with questions and concerns like: Are we ready for this? Are we talking to the right people? But above all: Will our baby grow up to be a happy, healthy, and thriving adult?
Quick history lesson:
For the longest time, scholars believed genetics alone determined if babies would grow to be happy, healthy, thriving adults. Then, they believed babies were born with nothing, and the environment alone determined how they developed. These theories made up the nature vs. nurture debate which ended as we hit the 20th century. Now we know, with humans, both nature and nurture play a role in development.
Back to the future (aka. the present):
When it comes to growing great brands there is no consensus. Some believe having a great idea automatically means you have a great brand. Others believe a good logo and nice colors are more important than strong values or an authentic story. Some people still believe that great brands are just born that way.
I take a different approach, for me, the best brands are both born and bred.
Ideas are not formed in vacuums. They are influenced by everything—from childhood experiences to the podcasts we listen to. ‘Born’ doesn’t just refer to the idea, no one's ever walked into an agency with “just an idea”. There is always a story behind an idea, factors that affected how it was formed, people that shaped its development, and so on.
I believe, ‘Born’ is the strategic foundation of your brand. It’s made of your brand’s mission: Why does it exist? And why does that matter? It’s vision: what is it fighting for? Where does it want to be in the future? It’s target audience and the benefits to that audience, both functional and emotional.
All of this—as well as your brand pillars—inform your brand’s promise and manifesto.
A strong strategic foundation is only half the battle. Because, unlike books, no one’s ever said you shouldn’t judge a brand by its cover (ok, someone probably has but they most likely didn’t have great designers). How your brand presents itself to its consumers is very important to how they will perceive it.
Do your colors communicate the empathy that you defined as a core value? Is your logo as modern as your target audience? Does your tone of voice feel consistent with the story you are trying to tell?
I believe that breeding great brands; creating a unique identity that communicates a distinct personality, with a tone and voice that truly speak to the target audience, is a function of the diversity of people, cultures, and ideas that influence it.
My goal is to ensure your brand is a happy, healthy, thriving member of society, providing positive benefits to everyone it interacts with. For me, the best brands aren’t born that way, they are not destined for greatness based on how great the idea is, or if the founders have launched brands previously (successfully or unsuccessfully), the best brands are Born&Bred.