By: Jonathan Young, Marketing Services Director
If you think your brand is just the logo on your website and some agglomeration of colors and fonts, it’s easy to miss its power. That power is to business what gravity is to the formation of worlds and galaxies. (Cue the “Star Wars” theme.)
In the absence of a brand, a company’s products and services are cyphers; generic empty spaces in the midst of your industry shaped like your company but devoid of meaning. This is the business equivalent of those gassy clouds the Hubble telescope sees off in space, in the distant… well, distance.
Those clouds appear when some executive has their own personal big bang moment: A brand is born—not wholly formed, but as recognition of a specific need in the market, a product idea, a solution. The necessary matter begins collecting: The talent, the capital, the partnerships. Problems arise like mountains, and are knocked down in volcanic bursts of effort or worn away by the constant erosion of refinement. All this may have happened generations ago, or only a few years back.
“But wait,” you say. “That’s not a brand. That’s a company or a product.” But products and companies have distinct characters and destinies, as different from one another as Earth is from Saturn. The brand is there from the beginning. It just hasn’t been distilled or articulated.
The nature of the brand is recognized in the same way astronomers study planets in other solar systems: by their effect on the bodies around them. Can your sales people clearly articulate what is unique about your company or products? Can your customers? Can your prospects? Can market analysts and investors?
That uniqueness is the molten core of the world you’re building. A strong brand—like gravity itself—binds together the pieces around it. It attracts more mass. It attracts more energy. The market takes notice, drawn by the compounding force. It’s the difference between forming a blue and green world teeming with life, or simply accreting a giant ball of gas (I’m looking at you, WeWork.)
In every case, your brand already exists. But unlike celestial bodies, you can affect the gravity of your brand. First, you need to find what’s at your core. That takes digging. It takes refinement. It sometimes requires painful choices. But once you’ve identified the essential element that makes your offering unique, it can permeate every aspect of your operations, multiplying its power to attract.
And just as with gravity, as prospects come into your orbit, they are drawn to the clarity of your offering, encountering dimensions of it through every stage of engagement, that reinforce its attraction, speeding their journey from prospect to customer to brand advocate. This, in turn, accelerates the growth of the company itself, adding not just revenue but value.
We all know this is true. We have seen it in others. We have felt it ourselves. We recently experienced exactly this phenomenon with a holding company client and their product portfolio. Though the products could not be more different on the surface, they address pain points in the same market. By forging a common bond between them—across different teams—we laid the groundwork for greater success by each and greater value for their parent. In effect, we increased their gravitational mass through shared brand character.
The journey from brand to sale is a well-known, if not well understood. Just like gravity. If you’re not feeling it at your company—or know it could be stronger—maybe it’s time to stop staring into the sun. And start digging.