It’s not uncommon for an organisation to mess with their brand. I’m not talking about tweaking, refining or ‘refreshing it’ … I’m talking ‘messing’ with it, big time!
I’m sure you see it happen. Perhaps you and your team are doing it right now ;)
This is often an indication that the organisation doesn’t LOVE their brand anymore. Perhaps they’ve outgrown it or the brand is no longer relevant to their organisation as it is today. Maybe the brand wasn’t that crash hot to start with.
Another reason that an organisation may not be ‘in love’ with their brand may be that their brand, their identity – has not come from them. Perhaps they’ve not been engaged in the brand discovery and development process. Perhaps the brand is simply a logo or ‘look’ they’ve been given to wear. Just a visual identifier to use on forms and stationery … without meaning or relevance for them.
A brand like this, one that focusses on just the visual aspects of a brand, with little or no engagement and development, could be said to be developed at the ‘surface level only’. A brand from the ‘outside, in’.
And whilst a brand developed like this can be of value and if done well, may represent and serve as a ‘visual’ identifier of the organisation for a few years, it’s unlikely that this brand will align with or support the values and culture of the organisation or connect with its audience in an honest and authentic way. It’s possible the brand will not resonate with your staff or audience. It’s possible, that a brand like this won’t stand the test of time (it’ll be meddled with).
Perhaps this is why the organisation is messing with it?
What are the alternatives?
The flipside of this may be an organisation that has taken the time to understand the importance of and to invest in their brand.
An organisation that has worked to develop their brand from the ‘inside, out’.
An organisation that understands that their visual brand, the logo and visual identity are there to support the brand and culture, not to fix it. They’ve taken the time to get to know themselves and their audiences, to understand their culture, to develop a shared vision, mission and values that underpin everything they strive for and to work to embed this into every aspect of their business.
The resulting brand identity, a brand developed in collaboration with the organisation, is developed ‘of’ the organisation, not simply ‘for’ the organisation. It not only serves as an effective ‘visual’ identifier of the organisation, it aligns with and support the values and culture of the organisation. It resonates with staff, who may feel a greater sense of ownership, of pride. It connects with the audience with honesty, reality and authenticity.
A brand like this, is a brand that can be loved and respected, a brand that can last the test of time … and one you won’t feel the need to ‘mess with’ for many years to come!
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