In the words of my father, "if I had a nickel for every time someone said this, I'd have retired a long time ago." He doesn't say that anymore since he's long since retired, but as it relates to the title of this blog post, its so true. Ok, maybe a quarter given today's prices.
When I was CEO of Signal.csk, a strategic brand and marketing firm, we spent countless hours training our clients on this reality. Re-branding does not equal a logo change. Brand is much, much bigger. Brand is a strategic asset that needs to be developed, nurtured and proactively managed. Brand is as much or more about behavior than it is a logo. Or an advertising campaign. People believe in your brand because they experience it. Not because of your logo, or what you say about yourself through marketing.
I was compelled to remember this principle when I read a recent article on Uber's new branding. The article in Wired showcased branding gone bad. When the CEO runs the project, picks the colors, and does everything short of building the logo in PowerPoint, bad things happen. Some things are best left up to the professionals.
To begin with, the premise that changing the logo changes the brand is patently false. Brands are fundamentally about managing perceptions and are built and grown over time based on a company's ability to understand the perceptions they want to own, and consistently delivering on those perceptions. Yes, ultimately you need a logo, and that logo should reflect the perceptions of the brand.
But lets not kid ourselves. Half the people will like and half the people will dislike the logo anyway. You can't build a brand based on "like and don't like". It has to built on a foundation of what is true to you, what is meaningful to your target audiences and what is distinctive in the marketplace. Find the intersection of those things, and understand the perceptions you want to own, and you'll have a good foundation to building a powerful brand.
Steve is a husband, father, and business exec. He loves anything outdoors, anything that is a hard challenge, and enjoys working with anyone who wants to continually improve. And golf. He loves golf. Steve is the founder and CEO of Executive Advisory Partners.