Why The Heart Of Your Brand Is Not A Pretty Face

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.
That's why having a focus is so important to having a brand.

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.

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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.

About

Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, www.AllThingsBrand.com and www.DannielleBlumenthal.com, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.