Branding is in the Eye of the Beholder

Pablo Picasso, 1937, Guernica, protest against...

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To my business owners:

I’m thinking about corporate branding…yes, branding and beauty have a lot to do with each other and both of them are viewed differently by various types of people.  When building a company brand, whether branding a small business or corporate-scale image, I’m a firm believer in digging deeper into personality, quirks, culture, beliefs and goals of the “beholder” (the company) as your strategy.  Personify the company.  If ABC, Inc. were a person, how would they present themselves to friends, family, acquaintances, and people they first meet?  That’s what a brand should say without words.  When you look at a logo, icon, or any sort of identification graphic, do the descriptive words, feelings, and opinions of the viewer coincide with the personification choices you were going after?  And this viewer (your audience or target market) may feel differently than another.  I think it’s best to look at your target audience and personify them too. What is beauty to this person?  If people (potential partners and clients) are attracted to your (company) beauty (brand), you can potentially establish long and fulfilling (profitable) relationships with them.

Let’s look at a world renowned artist, Picasso, known for his intellectual portrayal of politics through the artistic style of Cubism. Some viewed it as beautiful and some not. (And I’ll stay neutral in my opinion of his work.)  It’s obvious that his artwork was his brand.  Although, on the contrary, the painter said, in a 1945 interview with Jerome Seckler,  “I am a Communist and my painting is Communist painting. … But if I were a shoemaker, Royalist or Communist or anything else, I would not necessarily hammer my shoes in a special way to show my politics.”

He built his brand by personifying his political beliefs by abstractly painting them. Without his works and personal portrayal of his political beliefs, his branding, we may not remember him today.   If you were a successful shoemaker, you WOULD hammer shoes in a special way to show your competencies (beauty)  in a competitive market.

Reflection:  Does your company brand portray its true beauty?  How can you build a beautiful brand that will produce chemistry with your specific target market?