Building a brand: The things you’re not thinking about enough and the things you’re thinking about too much

The things you’re not thinking about enough are:

  • Product
  • Production design
  • Casting
  • Hiring
  • Voice

All of these provide context and build a world together. 

Product: Your product, usually, is not the first of its kind. How does your product compare to others? How is it differentiated? How can you improve it?

Production design. You can think of this as Art Direction. I like to use the term production design over art direction because it’s better suited for world-building… after all, that IS what brand building is. It’s world-building. Where does your product live? Is it Paris or Minneapolis? What accessory products and brands live in that world? Delta is Starbucks, Southwest is Dunkin Donuts.

Casting: Who are the models, creators, influencers, partners, that you want to be a part of this world? Your world is not for everyone; that is the opposite of a brand.

Hiring: It’s not impossible to hire internal and external support who cannot occupy the world and brand you are building. It’s easier, in my opinion, and in my experience, if you hire those who can occupy and thrive in the world you are building. It’s important to find those who have a “culture fit.” I love how Denzel Washington puts it.

Voice: When I call CX is it “Hello, how can I help you?” or is it “Hello, Mr. Anhalt, how may I assist you?”

The things you are thinking about too much are:

  • Name
  • Logo
  • Typeface

All of these have zero context. They mean almost nothing without relation to the world you’ve built through product, production design, casting, and hiring.”

Focus on the things that matter more.