One thing my coach, Vickie, keeps saying to me is, “Rachel, people don’t hire you for your talent. They hire you for a the experience – because they LIKE you.”
Sage advice. I had to hear it a few times to really get it and awhile after I watched a brilliant TED talk by Simon Sinek and it began to coalesce.
If people are actually buying an experience, it does not motivate them if you just try to keep selling them a product. You are selling an idea, a value – a lifestyle.
Therefore, great branding may not necessarily communicate what a company does, but it must clearly communicate why they do it.
Think about Nike. Did you immediately see the swoosh? Straightforward, the Nike swoosh represents movement.
It’s simple, clean and can be reproduced in any color and the meaning is the same. It is a direct piece that communicates why Nike does what they do – to get you to move.
“Just do it.” This slogan is just as simple and effective the swoosh. Nike’s mission is to get you off the couch, in their shoes and moving.
Notice none of their branding includes an image of a shoe. Their slogan says nothing about shoes.
This is because Nike is not selling shoes. Nike is selling a lifestyle. If you buy Nikes, you must be the type of person who is into running or some other type of fitness.
Let’s wrap this puppy up:
Nowadays, there are so many literal logos and unoriginal branding, it’s enough to make one dizzy. When did a logos become a full color, 3D, complex, unimaginative images?
With rampant clip art, your 14-year-old nephew Johnny saying he can throw together something fabulous in paint and countless other people masquerading as graphic designers because they used Photoshop once in high school, it is no wonder design standards have plummeted to lower than low.
I’m not saying everyone needs to hire a professional graphic designer or advertising agency to create their branding. What I am saying is – enough is enough. Figure out why you/your company does what it does and build from there. And for goodness sake make it simple and straightforward.
Selling what you do will never be as profitable as selling why you do it. Just like people don’t hire anyone because of their talents. They hire people they feel they will work well with, i.e. people who believe in the same things they do.