The Brand Box

Branding. What’s the first thing that you think of when you hear that word?

Chances are your first thoughts go towards the visual aspects of branding such as logos, package design, advertising, or web experiences. And these are huge pieces of the branding as a whole, but there is much more to branding than just what’s on the outside.

Because of this misconception, many people end up seeing their brand in a way a lot like the picture of the box above. They think that it doesn’t matter what’s in the box, because in the end we can wrap it up and sell it as a bigger and better package.

This may have been the case 30 years ago, when mass media ruled and there weren’t an infinite number of choices. This may have been true when word of mouth only traveled in close pocket of friends.

Times have changed. The things on the inside of the brand box are starting to matter more than ever. It doesn’t matter if you have the best and flashiest product in the world. If you serve it up with awful customer service then it’s not worth my time. It doesn’t matter how cool your logo is or how awesome your ads are, if they don’t match up with the way your customers see your brand, outside and inside. (This coming from someone in design!)

This is why, if you are starting a company or just want to revisit your company branding, that you don’t immediately pick up the phone to call your designer. Instead, turn your focus inside. Who is your company (or who will they be) and why does that matter? How can we build our brand through customer relationships and service? How can we train our employees to reflect our brand?

You’ll be amazed at how when you get things figured out on the inside, the outside of the box nearly wraps itself.

In the latest edition of Neutron’s Steal This Idea, Josh Levine and team have come up with a chart that classifies essential branding pieces into two categories, Visible (Outside of the box) and Invisible (Inside the box).

It’s an sweet tool for focusing in on all the aspects of your business and how they relate to your brand. (Let me give you a hint. If you do it. It’s part of your branding.)

 Invisible Branding Chart 


Is there anything on the chart that surprised you?

See anything missing?