Brand is not just about logos, names and trademarks. Those are simply three of the hundreds of tactical elements of brand. Before creating a logo — or implementing creatively against your brand — you need to understand what you are trying to own.
The most important notion in branding, something we pioneered in the 1990s, is ownership. We're not talking about ownership of a brand. Brand, once you brush past simplistic notions of brand equity and brand implementation, is about owning a tangible piece of your audience's mind.
Persona's team are the experts in owning audience mind. We first described how, with mathematical precision, in the 1996 bestseller, The Persona Principle (Simon & Schuster). We've been helping our many clients own audience mind since 1988.
It begins with an inventory of all elements of your brand; everything in your entire organization is part of brand. Then, precise implementation and execution of brand, helps you own that all-important piece of your audience's mind.
Corporate Image Guidelines
To earn equity in brand, a comprehensive image guideline is critical. Consider it the super hero of your brand, rather than the rule enforcer. A carefully built corporate image guideline is inspiring, rather than punishing. Not only is the development of corporate image guidelines essential, it must be treated with reverence.
Your persona must be believable and based on values with which your audience can empathize. Truth is an important requirement, but credibility of your truth is more important. Your persona must in every way seem believable. Many ventures have failed because their message seemed incredible—even though it was completely true.