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Authentic Expressions

Aniko Hill

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Branding is practically inescapable in today’s culture. Everyone has an idea of what a brand is in our marketing-savvy climate, and the words “branding” and “brand” have become a familiar part of most adults’ vernacular. But the reality is most don’t have a grasp of what these concepts truly mean or how they are being influenced by them on a daily basis.

A successful brand is effortless in communicating its message, subtle and often indescribable. Most think that a brand is a logo, ad, great tagline or a combination of these. Although it is true that these are all parts of a brand campaign, the concept of branding as a whole is bigger, broader and much less tangible. This idea is similar to the theory of gestalt in art: the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts. Any singular part of a brand campaign may be great on its own—but when combined with a solid, consistent brand strategy executed across all touch points, something much bigger and more magical happens.

The best way to really grasp this abstract concept is not to think of a brand as a “thing” but as the living, breathing organism that it is. To be successful, a brand should always be changing, evolving and growing—much like a person. In fact, branding experts often think of a brand as a person when conceptualizing about that brand. What is her personality? In what voice and tone does she speak? What values are important to her? What makes her unique? And, most importantly, do you trust her?

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