Photo of Dani Zimmerman by: Daniel M. Viero / Flickr Creative Commons
Runway models sell products.
But don't confuse them with the brand.
The heart of who you are - your image, to other people - is more boring.
It's real, but it's invisible, and extremely difficult to describe.
Your brand is a series of decisions.
- Who is picked to run a company, an agency, a school.
- How ordinary people treat one another within the organization.
- What kind of website you design. Which mobile apps you fund. Whether you personally go out on social media or not, to represent your brand.
- How budgetary funds are allocated. Which projects get the go-ahead, or not.
- How people get recruited, promoted, demoted, and fired.
- What stories are chosen to run on the news.
- What people do with your material in their spare time. If they share it on Pinterest.
- The values you portray everywhere. How employees act, who use your name on their business cards and LinkedIn profiles.
Because it isn't any one thing. It's a combination of multitudes. And if nobody knows what you stand for, you will end up standing for nothing.
Branding is a business call. It's for leaders to lead. It's that serious.
Marketing folks can tell you a lot about your brand - afterwards.
But if you want to actually build a brand, you must be more than a well-designed ad.
Disclaimer: This blog is written by Dannielle Blumenthal in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed here are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the National Archives and Records Administration, or the United States government.