branding as legacy

Photo: Clem Onojeghuo

Think of Branding as creating a legacy. Just like when we flip through old photo albums and see pictures of Grandpa, there will be some conversation about who he was as a person. What he believed. What his values were. His personality and disposition. This would be considered his family legacy. I say it’s Grandpa’s Brand.

Of course, all the details of his life couldn’t be summed up in one conversation, so his legacy would be condensed to the most important and prominent facets, usually in the form of symbolic language. “He was a go-getter.” “He put family first.” “Boy, was he a hard worker.” And so on.

The same can be said for Branding. It is a story. A story that is condensed and whose symbol may be a logo (or an icon), as an example. The Story is not the symbol, just as the photograph isn’t one’s Grandpa. The symbols merely allow the story to unfold, while the Brand gives us context.

There is one major difference in that a photograph is static, whereas a Brand is constantly in process. It will evolve. Toyota’s Brand identity is different than it was 20 years ago, though the symbol for Toyota is the same. Like Grandpa’s photograph. So, I ask, what is your legacy?