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Not Just Another Pretty Face....

Facial recognition is the “big deal” right now in the tech world. Being able to ID a person’s face provides entrée to more than his or her name. It will (sooner than later) reveal all the data that is associated to that person: vital statistics, employment history, purchase history, browsing history, contact history.

Remember the shopping mall scene in the movie, “Minority Report” where personalized ads appeared in windows and kiosks? That’s certainly becoming more possible....

In the age of big data, you’re no longer just a pretty face in the crowd. You are also your entire digital history.

This concept may sound shocking in this context, but to marketers, it is just the next logical expression of what we’ve been doing in the world of brand building for decades.

Brand = Logo + Reputation x public interaction.

· • Logo = the physical symbol/representation of a company.

· • Reputation = the Company story + the emotional responses to the story. The story is built on the quality of the interactions with individuals provided by the company.

· • x Public interaction = the number of times the reputation is positively reflected/demonstrated/received. The more positive interactions there are with the public, the stronger the brand.

Given this equation and its components, there are three considerations to keep in mind:

(1) A business is an entity. By virtue of the fact that it requires a person or collection of people working toward a common purpose, a business is an expression of focused energy and, therefore, also has a “personality.” This personality is typically determined by – or heavily influenced by – the most emotionally powerful person in the organization. This can be the business owner (in most cases) or some one else. It can also be shaped/determined by the quality of individuals at the top of the organization.

(2) Businesses don’t interact with people, other companies or anything else. Businesses are entities of commerce. They have no form, power or purpose without people. A business is no different than any other collection of human beings – family, club, posse. A business is merely a collection of individuals who facilitate its commerce activities.

(3) The single most important person in communicating the reputation of a business to the outside world is any person who interacts with the public on behalf of the business. No exceptions.

This third point bears repeating: The most important person for forming impressions about the business to the outside world is any person who interacts with the public on behalf of the business.

Why is this person so important? Here are two reasons:

• He or she is the human “Face of the Brand” to the public in all interactions.

• The quality and value of this human interaction on behalf of the brand is transferred and attached to the symbolic representation of the brand: the logo.

This may sound like a bit of hocus-pocus but believe it! It happens.

We humans love symbols. Just look how emoji have permeated written communication. Emoji work because they relay emotion.

Logos are the emoji of a business. Seeing a logo triggers cognitive and emotional memories of the business based on what the receiver has heard and/or personally experienced.

This is one reason why review sites are so popular – and important – to the success of a business in the building of its brand. They help create the story surrounding a business, which, in turn, helps readers form an opinion of it as well as an emotional reaction to it (ie, trust, distrust, like, don’t like.)* This cognitive/emotional impression is either reinforced or revised based on the quality and value of the actual personal experience.

This is why reputations are so critical to the success of a business.

This is why having a logo that captures the essence of the business is so vital.

The logo is the official, symbolic face of the business. It is the attachment point for opinions and emotions related to the business. It, therefore, has the power to attract or repel the public. This power underscores the importance of creating the right logo. Logo development is serious business. It is not to be handled as an after thought. Big corporations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on logo development because they know how important it is to get the visual representative of the brand right. **

Successful brands know a logo is not just another pretty face. They understand it is a symbol that draws great power from the opinions and emotions of those with whom representatives of the business for which it stands have interacted. Though ethereal, this attachment is very real. An eye-catching, eye-pleasing logo that embodies a sterling reputation reinforced through quality public interactions is a super-charged business tool.

Brand = Logo + Reputation x Public Interaction

When these components work in sync -- no matter what size – the brand they represent will be unstoppable.

( * NOTE 1: Because of this, businesses need to see review sites as indicators of how well they are communicating their intended brand story. Mission and value statements are only wall decorations if they don’t receive validation in customer reviews.)

( •• NOTE 2: Too many small businesses, unfortunately, don’t put the time, thought or money behind good logo development. Hire a professional – and that means not someone found on Fiver.... Pay the gold to engage the services of a real, practicing, experienced graphic designer with a portfolio. You’ll be forever rewarded.)

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