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Brad Cole
Visual Communications Designer
Surrey, British Columbia Canada

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5 Years Of Brand Development & This Is What I’ve Learned

This article was written to suggest methods that fellow entrepreneurs can use in the development their own brands.
Written Nov 30, 2009, read 1067 times since then.


Everything that any given individual perceives about you is combined together to form your brand. I realize that this is quite a sweeping statement. The truth is that the psychology of any given individual is a defining factor in how a person see’s your brand in the first place but really your brand is the bottom line of all of the collective beliefs held about your business. Allow me to illustrate. I remember always being envious of the coolest kid in school when I was in high school. Girls were drawn to him and I viewed his life as an especially charmed one. I would say that I admired him and aspired to be like him at on point in my life.  Now, I’ve always been the expressive type and I remember voicing my admiration for him and my desire to have a life like his to a friend of mine. My friend puffed out his chest and said “he wouldn’t be that popular if (insert reason here). The guy doesn’t have any personality.” That was our drastically contrasting opinion of somebody who was considered to be “The most popular kid in school” and that was his brand, and that is an example of what a brand is. It’s the perception of what something is at it’s most basic level.

As a branding professional, my job is to use concepts; meaning visual elements, ideas and language and to play with these ideas in relation to what your company is at it’s core. To do this I look to the companies leaders for details of what has made them the entrepreneurs and leaders they are, the paths they have taken to get there and the interests, skills and unique experiences they have had that are an innate part of what their companies are today. Then I use this information in conjunction with a thorough understanding of their target demographic to craft a simple, 1-2 sentence statement that captures the gist of the latter details and I begin to generate ideas, visual or otherwise, that are inline with that 1-2 sentence concept.

This approach is used to define the core of my clients businesses and it creates identities that are innate to who and/or what my clients businesses stand for. In difficult times these core characteristics will hold strong, stand the test of time and come out the other side, fully intact and positioned to move ahead with a solid brand in place and a loyal following of customers that identify with your business on a personal level. A great example of a business that has done this well is McDonalds. In many cases McDonalds is the default destination for hungry customers that need something quick, cheap and easy. When people need to get a little tighter on their purse strings due to things like recessions, McDonalds picks up the fallout due to the hard work they have done with their brand recognition. Because of their branding efforts the majority of people know that they will get their meals fast, cheap and easy.

Branding is more than just visual treatment. Branding is the essence of your company and it’s an amazing strategy that you can utilize to reinforce the integrity of your business when it’s developed the right way.

Learn more about the author, Brad Cole.

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