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Does Your Brand Have Purpose, Or Is It Just Another Pretty Logo?
By: Ted Curtin
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Don't get me wrong! Clever, catchy, and colorful logos that easily convey a sense of purpose and identity are important. Some would argue that in today's graphically-oriented digital world, they're imperative, but the logo itself doesn't make your brand. Brands are about the overall experience, and in order for your brand to thrive, first it must be meaningful and have purpose.

In my consulting role, I’m often asked by companies to help them “build their brand.” The question I most often lead the discussion with is, “What problem do you solve?” Because in the world of branding, and even more important than what your company produces, and greater than what service you provide, is the notion of purpose. Purpose is meaningful. Meaningful is your key to connecting with customers and building a lasting brand. 

Meaning can come from the value you add, the unique solution you provide, the assistance you render, or even the quality you represent. But the notion of meaning transcends product and service, and a meaningful client experience is the common denominator of truly successful brands. Just look at Apple. Sure, they design and build high-quality computing and personal entertainment devices, but Apple's allure goes way beyond the products they create and sell. Their success comes from meaning and purpose, as much as anything else.

Your purpose revolves around the promise your brand makes, either explicitly or implied, and speaks to the needs that your product or service fulfills for your customers. As such, it is not something to take lightly. A successful brand builds a tremendous amount of equity over time. In his book Good to Great, Author Jim Collins refers to the equity in your brand as Brand Capital; a combination of reputation or track record and trust. Basically, it's your client's confidence in your company’s ability to continue to live up to its promise. If you’ve established a reputation and built up that trust, but fail to follow through, you will essentially break your brand’s promise.

Define your purpose around your client. Identify your unique selling (or service) proposition. Frame it around the experience you want your clients to have and align your organization to perform on its promise, and your brand will begin to take shape and grow – pretty logo and all!


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About the Author
Ted Curtin is a recognized strategic marketing leader with over 22 years experience covering online and offline marketing channels. Follow him on Twitter or at TedCurtin.com
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