May 20, 2009

Can I wear tan socks?

It occurred to me this morning when I looked in the sock drawer and saw nothing but tan, I don't wear tan socks, black socks and black shoes are what I wear, part of my brand.

I started to think about clients calling and saying, I need to change things up, generate some excitement, I want to change the colors of my logo for this project, ad, or whatever, can I do it? Sure you can, it's your logo, but before you do I want you to think about branding. Branding lets your audience know it's not only you, but the you they are comfortable with. Your brand is more than just colors. It's a collection of expectations about a product, company or person. You go to McDonalds® and it's always the same, Golden Arches®, food that tastes the way you expect. Starbucks® too, it isn't just a logo and green color, it's music, people, a feeling, the taste. Think about Coke®, when you see a Coke ad you know it is Coke, even when it's real people or animations, an iPod® ad is an iPod® ad, even if the Apple® logo is on colors, or black. Why? because of branding. 

These examples are big companies, they have a very well developed brand with teams of people managing it. Most of my customers are smaller, the brand is still forming and may not be able to handle something as simple as a color change, but maybe it can, if the rest of the presentation is consistent and meets the audience's expectations of your brand.

Read more about Branding.

So think about what you want to do, and be sure whatever it is that you are being true to your brand. Tan or black socks are a trivial matter in my overall brand, (unless I wear them with sandals) but I'm going feel more comfortable in my brand, more assured. Let me look in that drawer one more time. Ahhh, one last pair all the way in the back. I really need to wash clothes.

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