• Tony Felice

Marketing Secret No. 4 - Branding 101


A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an advertising campaign. Think of a brand as a venn diagram.


On one side is your company's purpose for being as well as its position in the world. Think of it like this: "why you exist and what makes you different."


Where it overlaps your customer's needs and desires is where your brand is defined. It is a combination of your personal urges and reason for being crossing over with what they desire and need. The more you can express yourself from their vantage point the more clear you will be.


Furthermore, there are 12 brand archetypes that fall into four main quadrants of messaging. Are you the joker? The sage? The magician? The outlaw? The Everyman?


Your company can express itself with up to two brand archetypes (but no more, that leads to brand confusion).


For example: Apple is "Creator and Explorer," while Harley Davidson is "Outlaw and Explorer," whereas Geico is "Jester and Caregiver."


The point is, arriving at how to express your brand as a logo means all of those needs, wants, desires, soul urges, reasons for being, etc., have to be distilled down to one central image and tagline. This is called Inductive Reasoning--we start with data and arrive at a hypothesis. However, many business owners and even graphic artists use Deductive Reasoning, meaning they form a hypothesis first and let the name of the company and type of company be the deciding factor in what iconography to choose and it often falls flat, inauthentic or worse, amateurish. They will choose obvious symbols and then try to build a narrative around those images that do not fit the real intent of the business purpose or positioning and leave no room for the needs and desires of the customer. While we may form a loose hypothesis in the beginning by having the client choose two brand archetypes that they think represent them, by the time we have asked all our questions and conducted our research, ninety percent of the time they choose two different brand archetypes than those they began with.


Your brand is intended to represent your heart, and it's intended to make you a lot of money. Why would one half-ass that? Or spend five dollars on something meant to bring you millions? Sounds like a get rich quick scheme: invest five bucks to get a million.


Consider this? We ask you about 25 questions. We dig into who your customer is and what you want them to think and feel about you but also how they think and feel about themselves and their needs. We do our research. We meditate. We ask more questions. Until the magic happens. And half of that magic must come from .... YOU. The other half comes from US ... our ability to synthesize many data points into a simple elegant answer. A beautiful hypothesis.



Here, our client is an artist craftsman who works in wood, metal and other materials. He is cerebral, he is systematic. His clients want precision and elegance. He is, in a way, an architect of materials and how they occupy space. He wanted a brand that was elegant and juxtaposed nicely against flannel and chambray. It took us several hours of listening, and thinking to arrive at the brand you see here. He is, in a way, leaving behind a legacy of built materials and spaces in the city he calls home. He is architecting beautiful parts of Portland, Oregon - but in his heart, he is a humble artist/carpenter -- thus, CarpentryPDX expressed in architectural simplicity. Then again, we could have chosen a saw and a screwdriver and called it a day. But we didn't, did we?


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