🐇 Monday Memo: 📝 Brand Rant
Your brand is more than a logo, but you don't get to decide how much more.
🚫 Your Brand is Not Your Logo
It’s the story people tell about you. To themselves and others.
A logo is a period at the end of a sentence, not the sentence itself.
The logo is merely a visual vessel to hold the story. A mental QR code for the consumer.
When you see a logo, you don’t think about the company. Not as the abstract collection of people, processes, and products that it is.
You think about the associations, feelings, and experiences you have with it.
Is your brand acting out the story it wants told about it? Or are you hoping your logo works like wallpaper, covering up what’s underneath?
I guess the punchline is: take the time and money and effort you’d put into an expensive logo and put them into creating a product and experience and story that people remember instead.
🦤 What Does The Uncaged Bird’s Song Mean?
People ask artists “what does it mean?” about their work.
But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter.
It does not matter what the totem / amulet / spell means to the creator (words intentionally chosen to go beyond medium or genre and focus on the import and impact the work can have). It matters what it means to the receiver—the experiencer.
Sharing a thing laden with meaning is akin to gift giving. Once passed, control is released.
A gift that has to be overexplained or continually reframed in terms of your intention is a bad gift. And the fault is with the giver.
Total control (or near total, at least) exists only before you release your thing into the world as a living, breathing entity. Once allowed to fly free, it’s its own bird.
If you created an albatross but it’s actually a dodo. That’s on you.
The work of maintaining the accuracy and veracity of the story remains. But this act is now in service of the receiver. Not your ego.
On the flip side, you can’t let this prevent you from releasing your bird. Eventually you have to find out if it’s an eagle or a turkey (and maybe the one you want is not the one you expect). Otherwise all you have is a hobby and a dream (nothing wrong with either, as long as the distinction is intentional).
All this to say, I don’t care what your brand means to you. I care what it means to everyone else (but mostly to your super fans, because that’s where the most powerful version of the story is told).
Or, as Seth Godin says:
Your brand is not your logo. Your brand is the story people tell themselves about you and the expectations they have for what you’re going to be like when you walk in the room.
That’s your brand.
And if you start becoming inconsistent, your brand will inevitably become inconsistent and fade away.
Listen to his full chat with Rich Roll.
Thanks for sticking around for the whole rant!