If we think of brands like people, they grow up over time. For many of us, we see confusion and chaos when brands are in a “teen” state — trying on lots of different identities while trying to find out who they really are.
And then brands grow up, and we come to know the characteristics, personality, and feelings that are associated with that brand.
During this growth process, it’s very tempting to want to put standards in place once the final brand elements have been determined. We constantly see style guides with rules around proper use. What might have been a helpful tool so anyone could get to know the brand becomes a strict rule book that is filled with instances of “Don’t do this.”
Eventually, a regulator gets put in charge, and mutterings about the brand police means that the grown-up brand is stinted at one stage of its lifecycle … never to grow again.
Having a brand identity is important — it lets people know who you are, develop expectations with what you might say or do, and create a relationship with you. Consistency is important to a successful brand strategy, but standards have turned into shackles instead of wings.
It’s time to let the brand take off.
Whether it’s through emotions, archetypes, or instinct, you’ll see that there are ways a consistent identity can still be created without being locked into unyielding standards.
Join us this week as we talk about brand identity and how flexibility can give your brand freedom.