Pocket Square Branding

[Cache – #158]

As we have put it so eloquently, a brand ain’t a logo. This despite logos having the potential to powerfully communicate your unique value proposition, and hence why someone should do business with you instead of someone else.

Likewise, a colour does not a brand make, even though colour can be a priceless corporate asset:  think Telus and white, Home Depot and orange, Tiffany’s and blue and Indigo and indigo, for example.

Striking colour is not just eye-catching – as important as that is – but also an opportunity for a company to demonstrate its deep commitment to the brand and what it stands for.  This was driven home recently in a chance encounter with Andrew Zimakas, Cache subscriber and CMO of Tangerine.  Walking into a Starbucks this week, I spied at a patio table three things almost simultaneously:

1. Andrew.
2. His shocking orange pocket square.
3. The shocking orange iPhone cover on the table in front of him.

What I interpreted from this colourful display is that Andrew is seriously, enthusiastically committed to his company’s brand, and that the brand is as fresh and new as it claims to be, and that as a Tangerine customer, Andrew’s emotional commitment could very well serve me well.

Were my interpretations correct?  Alas, I interrupted him with a hello, not to pose those particular questions.  And as it happens, I have met many people in the banking industry who, like Andrew (and like my clients at Oaken) are highly talented and committed, so I would hesitate to use pocket squares and iPhone covers as a basis for judgement as to how much benefit is forthcoming to their customers or to me personally.

The point is that someone who is literally wearing their brand could be interpreted as looking more committed.  And that this could influence potential and actual customers to believe that benefits will trickle down to them as a result.

What colour can you seize upon to drive difference and show commitment?  All the great colours are not – as one might believe – gone, as Rexall has just proven with an overhaul of their colour system with a hue strikingly different to the point that I don’t know what to call it.

Or, if colours are not your thing, what graphic icon could you bring into the physical world, like the broken ring worn by an insurance advisor I know, to symbolize the “cracks” everyone has in their life plan?

IN THE MEDIA:  Andris Pone comment on WestJet, Tim Hortons, Lululemon, Indigo and more.

BOOK:  Buy the #1 Globe and Mail bestselling Brand: It Ain’t the Logo or download a free chapter.

brand: it ain't the logo - The #1 Globe and Mail business bestseller - Ted Matthews with Andris Pone -

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