CAP 022 Blog Tattoo A 1

Is that a tattoo on your forehead?

There have been so many ways to describe brands as intangible assets. From the ancient labeling of clay vessels with a family name to give confidence in the quality of the olive oil contained within. Even the earliest of brand ambassadors have attempted to distinguish between the tangible “mark” and the intangible “reputation” that it represents as an essential way in achieving a higher understanding of what a brand really is - a vessel of trust and meaning.

An amusing way to spot the difference between a mark and a brand is from the saddle of a horse. The mark is what gets burned into cattle to designate ownership and responsibility. The brand is the healthy respect that keeps most people from stealing the cows because of what you believe the rancher will do to you.

So, with so much contributing to the intangible value of a brand, why would a mark matter at all? Who gives a font if the type is Helvetica or Arial? Why does it matter if the text left aligns with the logo? What reasonable human being cares if the color is the Pantone definition of Pure Pink or two numbers to the left and just Cordially Coral? In other words, why do we spend so much time on these “mere” postage stamps of visual language?

When you peel away all the layers, it comes down to a core idea. When you're done, imagine this mark tattooed on your forehead. You took responsibility for this bit of language going out into the world and, as your mom would say, “it will be there forever” tattooed on your face.

This means, you will rarely see it while others will have to see it on a daily, maybe hourly basis. It will identify you, represent you and serve as an important part of your face. The longer you have it, the harder it is to change.

If you were walking down the street and you saw someone with almost the exact same mark on their forehead, how would you feel? Would you press the speed dial to your trademark attorney and design team? Would you fuss over the Pantone color and how it looks in black and white? Would you care if the negative space between two letters in the word looks awkward when you stare at it? You can bet your dinner date will be.

Is this metaphorical or real? Look at your LinkedIn page, this logo will be next to your face on the page every future employer will look at to judge you. Will you be able to take responsibility for it, or just hide it with a new found fascination with low brow hats? You are a representation of the brands where you’ve worked and they represent you.

Now how hard is the final decision? That’s about right.

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Categories Branding

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