Last night I attended a Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Valley Young Professionals event called Making a Brand Stronger: Your Company, You, and Your City. The hosts, David and Sam PR, spoke mainly about Phoenix’s image as a national city and the discontinuity between its size and its commercial strength. They spoke very intelligently about the different metrics on which Phoenix can be ranked and about the country’s perception of us. They emphasized how each of us can help improve Phoenix’s brand and how that brand can spur development and raise our profile in the future.
Before narrowing down on Phoenix, however, they called on the invitees for definitions of what a brand is: an image, a reputation, a logo, a promise to the customer, an atmosphere or culture. Importantly, they said that a brand isn’t just a trademark, or a logo, or a name. While those elements are important, they are merely just that: elements.
It is important for a new company to think about what its brand is and what it will become. A brand can’t be fabricated; it has to be cultivated, evaluated, and developed. A trademark is a small but important part of that brand. It should align with the brand, help express it, but not define it completely. A trademark is a valuable asset, but it is not the only element of a company’s goodwill. Attitude, culture, friendliness, honesty, and a promise – all these things are important to a young company’s growth.