I like to think of brand development in general, and product brand development, in this case, as the process of “uncovering” something that was already there. It is, in fact, the opposite of the idea of Brand Building or Brand Creation.
If you create a brand, you’ve got to remember the story that inspired it.
If you “uncover” a brand you simply have to remember who you are and that becomes your navigation point for all future actions.
It is “your truth told” in a visual context.
The branding for How Great Marketing Works was an evolution of my own personal branding under “Finola Howard” and is in fact a conscious nod to that brand. I wanted both identities to live independently of each other and yet still be connected in a visual way. That is a story which is evolving again and I’ll share that in a separate article.
In this article, I’d like to share with you the beautiful birthing of the product brand that is Get Strategic Get Results™. It is my signature program and forms the spine of all my work effectively since I started in business some 20+ years ago.
The first iteration of Get Strategic Get Results™ came to life in 1999 and was an “in person” 6 week workshop which I delivered successfully all over Ireland, the UK and Canada. It was a very successful program and people often returned to it several years later. They’d achieved the goals they set for themselves the first time round; often faster than they’d expected.
The Product Brand Was Not A Priority When I Started.
When I launched Get Strategic Get Results™, I was more concerned with product quality than product brand. So, invariably the obvious comes into play with a singular chess piece being the visual representation of the workshop series. We didn’t have Canva to play with then and it was a world where there weren’t the same expectations on business from a design perspective.
The chess piece was chosen for its obvious references to strategy and so tied neatly to the title of the program and ticked the product brand box for me at the time.
Fast Forward to 2021 to a Disconnected Feeling Toward the Product Brand
The original photographic image of the chess piece had been replaced with a Canva sourced Chess Icon placed beside a bag of money. I cringed every time I saw it because it wasn’t a reflection of who I am or in fact who I’ve ever been. When I think about it now, I wonder where my brain and in fact my years of experience in brand development had disappeared to when I saw it.
Prioritising Primary Brands Over Product Brands
Product brands occupy the lowest hierarchy level of the brand architecture of a company. Coca Cola is both company brand and product brand while 7 Up is purely a product brand (albeit more than one product). Companies who have many product brands often build a brand family system or umbrella brand to help them manage the individual brands.
Product brands are powerful because they can form a direct connection with the customer from first contact. They are formed as a specific answer to a customer need. Some might say that the product brand is more valuable than the company or business brand because of this very reason.
Aligning the Get Strategic Product Brand
The product brand logo as it stood was increasingly out of alignment with me and with the experience customers had of the Get Strategic Get Results™ program. It was time to invest in a brand designer. One who could capture the true essence of the program and visually represent it appropriately.
Enter the wonderful Aisling Griffin of Treetop Studio. I had collaborated with Aisling on a number of client brand projects with great success. She had also recently finished the design for my podcast so I was confident we had this.
We started with the product brand brief; a tool which I use for every brand project. It is, of course, is one of the worksheets available on the Get Strategic programme. It requires you to dig for the underlying story and is incredibly useful in this process. This is where the magic happens in brand design and this is where you truly find uniqueness.
When I’m working with a client and I sense we’re not getting to the truth of the brand, I always advocate going deeper. I had to remind myself of that fact when uncovering the Get Strategic product brand.
It’s always easier to go light without intending to. This is especially true when you are established and your product is familiar to you. You tend to speak freely about it is but can miss the nuances that guide you to the deeper story. This is simply because it is so close to you.
Taking the Leap To Be Vulnerable
I remember sending myself back to go deeper and taking the leap to be vulnerable with Aisling.
So, we talked about the uniqueness of the program and how participants start their journey with it by going inward. In this way that they start to look at their business more consciously.
You are encouraged to dream about the possibilities for your business which can often feel like a leap of faith. It is not often that dreaming forms part of a business process. And yet for me this is where everything starts; your passion, your purpose, your belief.
It’s a powerful resource that we don’t tap into enough. Possibly because it does require self-reflection and self-awareness.
This inward journey is framed in a defined map; that allows you to look at your dream from many different perspectives. This is the real prep work for making your dream a reality. It’s about seeing your ideas move beyond a dream like state more firmly into reality.
Aisling was able to digest all these ideas and bring them together to create this product brand logo.
I love that there is a Celtic spiral in the logo. This is an ancient symbol of growth, birth, expansion of consciousness, perseverance and knowledge.
One must go inward to grow outwardly.
I’ve heard this many times about the Get Strategic program; that it sparks an inward journey. It is something I’m very proud of about this program.
It’s always unexpected when someone joins the program. And yet when they follow this path, it always yields results.
The second aspect of the brand is the solidity of the map that people follow on the program.
Where the journey inward is open; the map gives you the structure needed to truly embrace the journey.
This is a nod to the ancient symbol of the Philosophers stone which according to legend was a substance that could turn ordinary metals such as iron, tin, lead, zinc, nickel or copper into precious metals like gold or silver.
Efforts to discover the philosopher’s stone were known as the Magnum Opus or “Great Work”.
How fitting that the signature program from How Great Marketing Works is designed so that you can achieve your great work; your Magnum Opus!
Get Strategic Get Results™ is about making your dream real and now our product brand logo embodies that message too.
I hope you like it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
And let me know if you have a brand or product brand story you’d like to share too.
I’d love to hear them. I find they inspire others to find meaning in their visuals too.