More than a logo.

Logos contribute to an organization’s brand. They're an important part, but still just a part.

To really understand this, let’s step back and explore what a brand is.

There are two parts to a brand: an organization’s reputation and its image. These associate in your audience's mind to form a brand. Let’s talk briefly about both.

How you act → your reputation.

When you take action, you contribute to your reputation. When you act kindly, or act competently, are on time or are late, you subtly shape what people think of you.

An organization's reputation works in the same way: whenever an organization "acts" - whenever it produces something, or an employee does something, or it interacts with a customer - it contributes to its reputation.

Reputations are held in the minds of others: we can shape them through our actions, but we don't control them. If we want to change them, we have to change the way we act, and do it consistently over time.

In an organization, actions are driven by culture. Culture is what employees live and breathe, and why they act the way they do. To change an organization's actions, change its culture.

How you look and sound → your image.

The other part of your brand is your image: the way the public interprets how you look, what you say, and how you say it.

Like your reputation, you don’t directly control your image (it’s someone else’s interpretation, after all), but you shape it by changing the way you look (including your logo), what you say, and the way you say it.

Image + Reputation = Brand

Your brand is the association of your image with your reputation in the minds of your audience.

So when we’re talking about branding, we aren’t talking about logos. We’re talking about your reputation and your image. We're talking about understanding what they are, what they should be, and how to align them.

Loud Dog

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