How to create a coherent brand and engage the “brand police”
Many people strive for “consistency” when managing brands. But that presents the risk of being dull, repetitive and predictable. A better goal is to achieve a “coherent” brand presence.
I recently re-watched a video of Simon Manchipp of SomeOne, London in which he advised brands to be “coherent, not consistent”. He talked about people’s desire for stimulation and the need to stay current because, “time changes – branding isn’t static”.
The same colorful mix and match elements are always creating new stories
Most interesting was his analogy of branding and LEGO. LEGO pieces embody a single set of ideas and values. We all immediately recognize LEGO for what it really is. But, LEGO pieces can be assembled in many interesting, amusing, and even thought-provoking ways.
The richness of LEGO configurations illustrate what a smart brand can do when they know the essential – you might say primal – elements of what their brand represents. By creating a culture around those core elements, smart brands leave themselves plenty of room for creative expression, meaningful engagement, and an always-now feeling.
Smart brands are coherent in their presence, but not consistent in their style or execution. They give permission to both the people who manage the brand – and to those who use the brand – to explore a richer world.
Avoid the strict brand guidelines; call off the “brand police”
As Simon Manchipp puts it, “dull, repetitive, and predictable” are all deeply undesirable brand values. Don’t be a brand that insists on absolute consistency. Don’t have strict guidelines enforced by “brand police” who make careers out of controlling every brand moment of truth and taking pleasure from slapping the wrists of those who don’t place sufficient white space around a logo (God forbid!).
Instead, go with the flow, loosen up, and roam freely.
Just be sure everyone knows the job is to coherently display your brand’s heart and soul in all the ways that will make your brand truly matter to people.
Transform how your brand reaches out to people!
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.