Why building a brand and architecture have a lot in common
Brand is easy to misunderstand, and technology has made it quick and easy for just about anyone to put something together that has the look of a brand. However, and just like architecture, a clearly developed brand needs to be underpinned by plans that will take it from foundation to completion.
To build a house, you could just go to the suppliers and buy the things you need; doors, windows, wood, bricks cement etc. and then start building. You may strike lucky and end up with the most amazing home, although in reality you’d probably build something that just about resembles a dwelling. It may not function properly, and there’s no certainty it will last the test of time.
Which is why an architect comes in handy, to draw up a plan that fits your site and budget. The exciting part comes if you get the opportunity to embrace cutting edge architecture to fully realise your ambition too.
The same is true when you build a brand. Often the starting point is an idea, this can quickly turn into a vision. At that point you could just go grab all the things you need to bring it to life, the ecommerce store, your products and marketing collateral. In effect you’re now trying to build your house without the benefit of a plan drawn up by your architect. So whoknows what you will end up with, and is that a risk worth taking?
If you’re developing your own brand it’s fine to be your own architect, and you’ll soon see the value in having a development plan in place.
For example by having a development plan:
You identify what you need to do to create your brand. Like a house this isn’t just things people can see. It includes the hidden essentials like drainage and an electric supply. For a brand this could include; ensuring all your processes to serve your customers are developed and tested before you start selling.
You can sense check your vision. Authentic brands resonate with the people they are intended to appeal to. That’s like building the right house, in the right location, at the right price. That house will sell more quickly for these reasons. For your brand, in your plan you can ensure you align your messages, products and platforms to the people it’s being developed for.
The stages you need to go through to create your brand become apparent, from foundation upwards. Like all good plans things do change, however if the overall architecture is good, such changes are going to be minor adjustments that finetune your vision.
You identify potential issues with your brand. You’re thinking things through and this gives you the opportunity to question your brand and seek feedback from the people you trust. All of this is a good thing to do before you start spending money on creating your brand.
Your suppliers will have a clearer understanding of what you need, making it easier for them to deliver to (or above) your expectations.
Of course even with the best plans things don’t always go to plan. Brutalist architecture is a perfect example. From the drawing boards of the 1950s and ‘60s this visionary school of architecture was exciting, modern and progressive. It fitted the times, and then (for a whole raft of reasons) it fell from grace. Interestingly, only now is the visionary sophistication of Brutalist architecture being fully appreciated, and once again it’s gaining in popularity.
In terms of your brand plan, whilst you can’t predict all the ups and downs you’ll encounter, by staying authentic and true to your vision, a bit like Brutalism, you’ll have the best chance of developing a lasting and positive relationship with your defined audience.
Developing a brand is exciting, and when underpinned by a solid plan you’ll be able to see your vision come to life in a way that makes sense not just for you, but importantly for the people you want to welcome into your brand - your customers.