"Doing business without advertising [branding, public relations] is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does," observed Stuart Henderson, a New York Herald Tribune columnist, in 1945.
The iconic brands of our century—Tiffany's, Nike, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Apple, Coca-Cola, Red Cross, to name a few—are no accident. Each has been attentively cultivated. From logo development, graphic design, tag line and written copy in brochures, mailings, ads and website, to press releases and online buzz, these entities know "who" they are and communicate it accurately and consistently.
As a result of attentive, accurate and consistent branding, these names are the go-to sources in their respective industries or charitable services. They are top-of-mind when you consider jewelry, athletic wear, luxury cars, innovative computers, soft drinks or helping people in a disaster.
And, whether you're a banker on Wall Street or a surfer in San Diego, the same recognition came to mind at the mention of each brand name.
Remarkable isn't it? Each brand name—just the name alone—"speaks" its true corporate self, its unique mission and purpose.
It's so remarkable, that we tend to take these immediate name recognition brands for granted. After all, who doesn't know Coca-Cola ? Or, Tiffany's? Or, Apple? We don't even give it a second thought.
Yet none of these brands started out this way. Instead, each started out relatively small and unknown; unknown to outsiders at least.
Here's the important thing...
Although outsiders knew nothing of these brands at first, company founders had a very clear understanding of their company from the very beginning. Each understood clearly the company mission and purpose, its unique selling proposition, what set it apart from competitors. And this made all the difference!
Branding is critical for growth. Without a clear understanding of "who" you are as a company, there's not a chance in a lifetime that logo, graphics, brochures, copy, press releases or websites will help much.
That's why we begin every project relationship by understanding—and often clarifying—"who" you are, your unique mission and purpose, where you want to go, your budget, and your time frame.
Everything else, from your tag line and brand identity, to the graphics in your brochures and words in your press release—everything else—flows from knowing "who" you are.