Week 5-A Brand Is Where The Heart Is

No assignment for this week. Meant as a catch up if Richard Guldi or I missed any weekly expectations in our 9-week Job Search Internship.

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Why do they say it’s important to build a brand identity after piloting your business concept? Is it because design costs could easily become sunk costs if the company or startup doesn’t take off like you anticipated? Or because we don’t see much value in marketing and what’s actually important is the meat of business-the service, product or event?

I think all of the above. Marketing seems to be the “oh yeah, I almost forgot!” to do on an entrepreneur’s checklist. And because it’s the last thing on the list, you get mediocre logos like this:

Image result for horrible logos

But I’d like to make an argument: an argument that it’s imperative to create a brand identity as early as possible.

A brand identity is like the walls of house (roll with me on this). It’s the first thing that people see when they arrive and provides the 1st impressions of who you are and how you live. Is it a big house? What color is it? What’s the roof styling? How are the window sills designed? What material is your house? All of these are calculated within seconds and define how someone interprets and interacts with everything within the home.

Now take a company and lets make the walls your logo, website, social media handles, and LinkedIn page. What if you don’t have any of these things? How will people make brand associations (i.e. impressions) when they have nothing to go off? How do you develop quality, new business or have a great “face” for referred customers when all they have to go off is word-of-mouth marketing?

That said, there are many positive assumptions to be made by simply having a professional, appealing brand identity: your confident, trustworthy, knowledgeable, emotionally intelligent, and organized. Similarly, if you have a weak brand identity, the opposite assumptions can be made as well: you’re unsure, unreliable, inexperienced, emotionally oblivious, and messy. And 1st impressions are hard to trump.

In short, these days, the adage of “looking good and feeling good” applies not only to humans but brands as well.

So make it count.

~JK

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