The logo is not the product. The brand is not the product
Organizations are content to pay mere lip service in the building of the brand. The shiny new logo, splashed across the walls and possibly visual media quickens the pulse for a few days.
Posters, awareness sessions etc typically serve as distractions to the proceedings of a normal day. After a week, one barely notices the new logo when swiping through the security door. It is work as usual.
But often organizations have a need to mass produce the brand. To propagate the message to the drones. To make them repeat the buzz words, to incorporate the keywords into their performance objectives. And the quickest way seems to be to bring in the graphic designers! Out comes the new logo after presumably some intense brain storming sessions.
The logo as the most visible manifestation of a brand is the most superficial representation of what the brand is to be.
The message is not the brand
Branding is all about naming an idea. To be unique enough that whenever the idea is manifest in the mind of a consumer, the association of the brand would spring into existence.
The brand also consolidates the idea for the people who have to deliver on its promises. Like a talisman, it serves as a symbol for the ideal the company strives for.
The idea is not the brand
By tying itself up at level of ideas, a brand seeks to gain maximum recollection and awareness.
The vision is not the brand
A new brand is often tied to a specific culture that the leadership team sees fit to incorporate into the idea into it. In all honesty there is no idea more goofy than this. The notion that a culture could be manufactured from the combined ingredients of colorful posters, mindless blabbering from clueless PR folks etc can only be laughed at. But still
The action is the brand
A brand is to announce an affiliation. An affiliation to an idea, an ideal. But to carry an affiliation means nothing until the ideals are put in practice.
Action alone lends credence to an idea.
The next time you want to build a new brand, do not speak to your graphic designers alone.
Think about how your customer facing folks would embody the brand and the ideal. Get the key influencers across the organization to hold the ideal in all their actions.
The job of building a brand does not end with the logo. It begins with it and needs constant nurturing by your best people.