Recently, after the presentation of a new brand identity package, the very well meaning client told me that we at Gravity “are like alchemists!” Blushing a little, I profusely thanked her and went on my way.
…then I read the definition of alchemy:
“An ancient tradition with the primary objective of turning base metals into gold orsilver.”
Now, I know that person meant what she said as a compliment and, if she’s reading this now, I still thank say – thank you! But, “alchemy”, as it’s defined, is not what we strive to do. It’s actually the opposite.
A company’s brand is its “promise”. It’s at the heart – and it’s expressed in products, services, people, even the building or front lobby. To communicate the essence of that brand effectively, an agency like mine should start with developing a clear brand identity – logo, tagline, etc. Those things should help tell the story of who the company really is, and what makes them unique.
The trick is telling a true story.
If we tried to develop a brand identity package (or marketing messages, for that matter) that presented a company as better or different than they really are – that would be telling a false story. That would be “spin”, as they say in the industry. Or, to put it more plainly, that would be lying.
So, really, we don’t try to turn “base metals” into gold here. We try to find the gold that’s already there. In a way, you could say that – if we’re doing our jobs right at Gravity – we’re acting like good miners, not alchemists. We dig deep to find the gold of a company’s brand – what makes them truly unique, what makes it a good story to tell. Then, we simply shine a light on that story and tell it.
The process I’ve just described cannot work if it’s not collaborative (Gravity and the company working together), and if a true story isn’t being told.
So the moral of this post for you is – if you’re looking to better your brand, don’t look for an alchemist. In the end, you’ll just get fool’s gold.