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Build Your Brand on a Solid Sense of Your Identity

by Roger Sametz  |  
March 23, 2010

Know who you are today––and who you want to become.

Think of your brand as a mosaic. In that mosaic, you can select and place most, but not all, of the tiles: You can control the communications you make, your offerings, and how your organization behaves––and, therefore, you can control the brand picture these tiles present.

But some of the tiles in your brand mosaic are placed by others––the media, bloggers, tweets, the conversations that happen outside your walls.

Because the brand picture assembled in the hearts and minds of your constituents is a mix of both what you can control and what you can't—but would certainly like to influence––it's important to develop a strong foundation for your brand.

Why? Because that foundation will help guide where others place tiles in your mosaic. A strong foundation is one that can inform a range of communications by you and others; it helps people to understand and value you in the ways you'd like them to.

And while much of your brand foundation may never be visible to the outside world, the stronger these underpinnings are––the more they evolve from your unique identity––the more your messages, visual system, and tactical communications will cohere and support your desired meaning and image.

And, as a result, the more likely it will be that those tiles placed in your mosaic by others will have positive context.

The Thinking to Inform Expression and Action

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Roger Sametz is president and CEO of Sametz Blackstone Associates, a Boston-based brand consultancy that integrates brand, editorial, and digital strategy with design and digital media. Sametz Blackstone collaborates with a wide range of academic, cultural, community-focused, and corporate clients.

LinkedIn: Roger Sametz

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  • by Steve Byrne Tue Mar 23, 2010 via web

    Using a mosaic is a clever way to illustrate any given brand’s territory. And your tiles that are labeled as “placed by others” would include messaging placed by the brand’s competitors. A problem with a 2D model is that it limits the ability to show the competitive landscape (or cityscape if using a Manhattan model). One option for introducing the competitive landscape would be to create a 3D mosaic model. It would provide a graphic method to illustrate the hierarchical nature of the brand’s position by introducing the customer’s perceptions of the brand’s competitors relative to one another.

    Of course, developing such a model would not be easy. Just food for thought and perhaps a new article.

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