The Chicken and The Egg: A Fresh Look At Branding and A Branding Refresh
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The Chicken and The Egg: A Fresh Look At Branding and A Branding Refresh

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A historical view of our first brand, why we brand, what makes an iconic brand and lessons and issues surrounding a brand refresh. This background leads up to the branding refresh for Minnesota......

A historical view of our first brand, why we brand, what makes an iconic brand and lessons and issues surrounding a brand refresh. This background leads up to the branding refresh for Minnesota Women In Marketing and Communications, a non-profit membership organization of choice for professional women working in the mar/comm industry. Presentation was delivered as part of a 20x20 Showcase Learning Lunch, January 23, 2014 at the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis.

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  • 1. Most people new to “what branding really is” don’t actually think it begins with long horned steer and cattle ranching. However, a lot of people who are totally new to the concept, think their branding begins and ends with their logo. In that case, it’s any branding professional to steer them in the right direction. A logo is only one visual component to a brand and that branding takes place over time, though interaction with target audiences, messaging, being consistent and relevant, as well as delivering on promises. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com
  • 2. Branding has been around much longer than “cattle ranching.” 30-40,000 years to be exact. The evidence being anthropologists have discovered human hand prints in caves all over the world. It’s universal. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com
  • 3. So why the hand print? The human hand is so distinct. It sets apart us from the animal kingdom and other life on earth. The hand print says “we were here” and “this was important to us” as well as way to help unite us as we begin to form society and culture. It’s human nature to want to create order in a chaotic world, identify, naming, classifying everything around us and branding becomes a big part of that order. The hand print could be considered our very first brand, one in which we continue to use to identify the human condition. Examples: Black Panthers, Solidarity, The Peace Movement and Facebook. A side note: Anthropologists have determined that 75% of the hand prints, at least those studied in the caves across Spain and France, were made by women. It puts our idea of what we think our early women status’ might have been like on its head. See online articles in Christian Science Monitor and National Geographic: “Where Most Cave Painters Women? Their Hand Prints Say Yes.” Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com
  • 4. Leaping centuries ahead, as society forms tribes, clans and kingdoms, branding becomes increasingly important as way to identify who is friend and who is foe. A Coat of Arms proved a time-honored useful form of branding, telling a lot about the ruler, his supporters, conquests, etc. It was imperative that a knight carry a coat of arms, because there is no why anyone can tell one knight in a full suit of armor from the next knight in a full set of armor. Equal time for women: Because women didn’t participate in war, they didn’t have a Coat of Arms, rather a counterpart “Lozenge” which tells her family heraldry and marital status. We can see that the Coat of Arms was and still a strategy in branding rule and leadership. We see it universally used to represent our universities, our military and offices of government. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com
  • 5. The use of pictures becomes a profitable way of branding during Colonial times in America and a precursor to our modern logo and advertising. Historically, it first was thought the use of pictures in store fronts was because early settlers were by and large illiterate — a total myth. Colonists placed a high value on education, so a good percentage of residents at the time could read and write. Still, merchants found value in hanging a picture shop sign as their brand so people could easily find and identify what goods and services they offered. A picture could stick In people’s mind and over time associate that picture with the merchant’s name and reputation. We continue to leverage imagery today to make a brand memorable. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com
  • 6. Humans have been branding has been around pretty since the beginning of time and formation of societies and culture. What then makes a brand iconic? It starts with our stories, our legends, our myths that have forged a cast of characters so engrained into our intellectual and emotional psyche. This give us the archetype. See supplementary article on Archetypes included with this presentation. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com
  • 7. Iconic brands that have found their story, embraced their inner archetype have created a perfect formula for becoming instantly recognizable and identifiable. We love our stories. We love our characters. Being able to identify what is in front of us is hugely comforting. Examples of brands embracing their inner archetype through messaging and story telling: Apple, the Hero. IBM, the Innovator. Celestial Seasonings, the Alchemist, Volkswagen, the Child. See supplementary article on these Iconic Brands and their Archetypes included with this presentation. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com
  • 8. But there is more to an iconic brand than its story and embracing an inner archetype. There are some key necessary elements at play as well. An iconic brand needs to be reliable, reliable, compatible, competitive: always striving to do better, be better, authentic, honest, walk their talk. You can trust them. In short, an iconic brand wants you to feel like they are your very best friend. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com
  • 9. Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv make it look easy. My heroes for making really, really simple logos that are now iconic brands. Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv— is a prominent New York-based branding and graphic design firm. It was founded in 1957 by Yale graduates Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar. The firm is famous for designing logos for such companies as Pan Am, Mobil Oil, PBS, Chase Bank, Barneys New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Xerox, Smithsonian Institution, NBC, Cornell University, National Geographic, State Farm Insurance, and many others. I’m introducing this creative team, because I learn from all kinds of different sources and the first thing they thought me is getting to simple is really, really hard and it is really, really hard selling your client on simple. The following page shows examples of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv work and the iconic brands they helped create. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com
  • 10. The second thing Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv taught me (and this goes to my presentation title analogy), is this is the iconic brand. The Little Red Hen. It’s very easy to buy into what she is selling because we know her and what she is about: She’s wholesome, she has a strong work ethic, and makes a darn good loaf of bread, all the while teaching us the merits of not acting like a lazy, entitled teenager. * Little Red Hen by Florence White Williams (1918) Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com
  • 11. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com In contrast to the iconic brand, this is the new brand or brand refresh. It’s so new it’s hard to sell our clients on it. We can’t relate, simply because It is so new. The new brand is an unknown. What will it be when it hatches? A cutie fussy yellow chick, a poisonous snake, a dinosaur, Big Bird? We don’t know and that’s the big hurtle any new brand or a brand that embarks on a re-fresh faces.
  • 12. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com To illustrate this hurtle brand refreshes face, let’s not forget the recent misadventures, disasters in re-branding. GAP received so much outrage they had to switch back to their original logo. Tropicana watered down their packaging, their cartons looked so generic that consumers could not find their favorite brand of orange juice. JCPenny’s, they can’t decide what square they like best.
  • 13. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com So all this background on branding is swirling in my head when it comes to refreshing the MWMC brand. It has served us well, but the call for change was needed to be more consistent, relevant and truthfully represent this organization.
  • 14. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com So where to begin? It starts by finding our story. If I was to give us an archetype, it would be “The Networker.” A talent for creating communities and connections. Outgoing. Empathic. An Advocate.
  • 15. Diversity
  • 16. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com It’s clear we are a diverse group…members just starting their careers, to seasoned pros. Member careers range from marketing, print media, web marketing, public relations, social media to design. We provide value and knowledge through our diverse programming.
  • 17. connecting communicating collaborating challenging celebrating
  • 18. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com But with all that diversity, our organization shares core characteristics. Connecting: We’re really good at connecting with one another in ways that enrich our lives professionally and personally. Communicating: We are in the MAR/Comm industry, so we shine at communicating. Collaboration: Our organization thrives on member volunteer collaboration. Challenging: Through volunteer opportunities, MMWC give member a chance to challenge and build their skill sets, sharpen their know-how and step out of their comfort zones. Celebrating: We support members throughout their careers and love to celebrate their successes. So what does this look like? Putting it all together:
  • 19. Grand Ciel Branding & Design I MWMC 20X20 Showcase 2014 I Kristin Maija Peterson I www.grandciel.com …we are a mosaic blend of careers, with a passion for our industry and the desire to see members succeed in their careers. We are Minnesota Women In Marketing and Communications. Energizing business. Transforming careers. Thank you.