Building a recognizable brand that commands the respect you want to be associated with your name and your business takes time and strategic thinking. Although most new entrepreneurs (and many experienced ones that haven’t invested in understanding how important this is) think of their brand is their logo and maybe their color scheme.
Really your brand is YOU. It is whatever people think about when they think of you. If they easily recognize your logo and identify with your colors is a part of that. But it’s also how they feel they do a transaction with you and the experience they have with your organizations.
When I started the Black Business Initiative, the logo was the Black Power fist. I looooooove that symbol. But as I really began to tweak and improve the strategy of the organization, I soon realized that it wasn’t the best representation of what I envisioned. I also realized that as much as I love the Black Power fist, that some of us are turned off by it. It was important to me that I not alienate my base customer!
I went back to the drawing board and I researched and researched until I came up with the perfect symbol that spoke to my heart. Then came the tricky part. How to incorporate it into the modern look and feel I knew the brand needed.
So what did I (and my amazing designer) come up with? Well…
Have you ever wondered what the B in the BBI logo means?
Oooooh I can’t wait to share!
The ribbed cut in the B is the leaf of a fern. It stands for the Adrinka symbol of AYA or “Fern.”
It’s a symbol of endurance and resourcefulness. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the Black entrepreneur.
What’s great about the brand is the simplistic and non-threatening design that beautifully wraps around an immensely powerful meaning hidden in plain sight.
As you continue to tweak and grow your brand, I want you to consider 3 things:
1. You are not fully in control of your brand. In the words of Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what people are saying about you when you are not in the room.”
2. Be consistent with the look and feel of your brand, all the way down to the experience you give your customers. Your brand is a representation of you and what you stand for.
3. Design for flexibility. Your brand image must be fluid and cross multiple mediums while staying recognizable.
As we grow, I hope that we are fulfilling our brand promise to you and making our symbolic B a staple in the Black business Community.
I’ll leave you with this, rebranding is not impossible, but it’s not ideal. And you certainly can’t do it successfully multiple times. So as you build your brand, be thinking about how you want to be seen in all you do. Be strategic. It matters.