My father, an overly-energetic man with too many ideas and more knowledge than a thesaurus, once told me that it didn’t matter so much what I said, as how I went about saying it.
I, in my under-utilized mental capacities, thought he was wrong, because what I had to say was always very important, and that should certainly trump how I went about communicating my point.
I was wrong.
All of us are when we think that what we have to say trumps how we go about sharing that information. This, I think, is the number one reason why the difference between a brand and a logo needs to be clarified so often. And why it’s very rarely heeded.
Saying who you are and showing who you are: different things. If you ever went to Sunday school, this would be what they like to call “walking the talk.” Putting your logo—no matter how cute, how well-crafted, or how expensive—on to your stationary, product, website, etc. does not mean you’re communicating who you are with your audience. It just means you put a jpg on a business card.
Saying who you are, putting that icon on the top left-hand corner of every piece of paper you ever print is a lot like wearing really cool socks but never taking off your shoes. They’re there, and they’re awesome, and you know about them. But who else does? Have you shown them to anyone lately? Have you lifted up your pant leg a little and shown off that piece of you that helps the world see more what you’re about, your likes and dislikes, your style, your pizzazz? Your brand.
Go ahead. Try it. Tell someone you wear cool socks. Then show someone.
If you do, I guarantee they’ll never forget your face. That’s your brand, my friends, and the only thing it has to do with a logo is that it’s on your business card, too.
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Cherith Mitchell, Director of Design, is the designer you wish your designer would design like. She loves to develop brands, rant about how the world can be a better place, and drink cold coffee from a tumbler with her name on it. When not serving the non-profits of the world or blowing client’s minds, you’ll find her awing over the cutest kid this side of sliced bread.