Credibility through identification.
Among the world’s most recognizable corporate icons, perhaps none is more beloved than Apple’s apple. Without employing a single letter of any alphabet, consumers in a hundred countries know that beloved apple silhouette as a symbol of user-friendly, intuitive and widely popular media tools.
Question: Have you ever considered what your corporate logo or masthead evokes in prospects who see it?
Several years ago, I decided that our brand needed re-focusing, and perhaps a new logo to more accurately reflect our changed mission. We hired a top ad agency and they asked my team to individually answer each of the following questions—and a dozen others—so that they could get a true sense of us, of who we aspired to be in the profession, based upon who we most identified with in each category:
- If your brand were a former U.S. President, who would you be? Jimmy Carter? Ronald Reagan? Abraham Lincoln?
- If your brand were a popular Hollywood actor, to whom would you measure up? Meryl Streep? Will Ferrell? Jimmy Stewart?
- If your brand were an automobile, with which make would you want to be compared? BMW? Maserati or Ferrari? The DeLorean?
For most of us, each of those people or brands evokes positive and/or negative associations, and everything with which we identify personally says something about us: Are you long-term quality conscious or just the latest shiny object or trend? Are you like The Ultimate Driving Machine® or a now-bankrupt automaker of “Flux Capacitor” fame from a 1980s movie trilogy? Are you the embodiment of integrity and family values a la Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life—or is your practice an ego-centric, disorganized mess like one of Will Ferrell’s bad-mannered characters?