Is the brand image bullshit?

Is the corporate image bullshit? Many believe it. The communications manager of an important organization confessed to me – sadly – that her partners, esteemed managers and professionals, regularly circumvent the standards established for internal or external documents. In every reference to the official style they see every excessive bureaucratization and refuse to take it into account.

Yet, like all of us, they are influenced by perceptions.
All of us, when we recognize the logo on a car, we get an idea of ​​its price, its performance and its reliability. If that vehicle had another logo, our conclusions would also be different. It happens every day with objects and even with people.

The evocative power of the brand

It happens because the brand has a great evocative power. It happens because the one stuck on the products is not just a logo, but the hallmark of a Brand.
This banal observation often struggles to be understood.
A brand is a set of components of which the brand is only the most visible part, the tip of the iceberg. Day after day, we learn to recognize brands and, without even realizing it, we accumulate experiences and information even on the hidden part of the iceberg: brands.
Through brands and visual identity, we get used to associating each brand with a specific style of action, a certain quality and certain values. His reputation, in short.
At the mere sight of the logo, a whole universe of meanings comes to mind. In this way, brands don’t have to re-explain who they are and what they do every time, but can simply add the specific information they want to get to the public.
Visual recognition improves effectiveness and capitalizes on investments in communication. This is why companies and organizations put so much effort into getting it.

The importance of a brand’s recognizability

After all, it’s not even that important that we have a nice logo and a refined and elegant image. What matters is that we behave in a manner consistent with the identity we have built.
Yes, because for the best-known brands, recognition is not a product of chance, but the result of voluntary and deliberate actions.
For larger organizations, the visual identity is designed at the table by a team, which designs it in accordance with the story you want to tell, the Vision and Mission of the brand. Even the name is defined in a reasoned way (there are agencies that deal only with this): it must be short, memorable, evocative and easily pronounced in all geographical areas. Nothing is left to chance. Not out of narcissism, but because the construction of a brand and its value necessarily pass through visual recognition. For the public, the brand image is a promise.

Squander the value of the brand

But that promise must be kept by all members of the organization that identifies with the brand, it is not enough for top management to adapt to it.
Unintentionally damaging a brand and its brand is easy. For example, members of an organization can do this when they distort the logo on documents or on the web, when they use it with colors “almost the same as the official ones” or when they send newsletters with typefaces “nicer than the one imposed”.
The success or failure of a business depends on keeping that promise. And even more than economic damage, the damage is to reputation, because if not even the brand manages to be equal to itself, how can we expect everything else to be? The public is disoriented, does not recognize the interlocutor, does not know what to expect. But he sees a bad organization and loses confidence.
The damage never concerns only the management of an organization or its property: failure produces undesirable consequences on each of its components. Repairing that damage could be very expensive or even impossible.
It is for this reason that a company or organization should make sure that all members know the guidelines on corporate image and the importance of following them, because what seems trivial margins of freedom risk undermining the serious work that is done. the rest of the time

Photo by Gabe G:

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