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Branding Beneath the Surface

A brand isn’t just one thing. It’s the total of several pieces functioning together to create a reputation.


An iceberg is a good analogy for understanding the complexity of a brand and all of its parts. The tip of the iceberg is your brand name and brandmark. They’re the most simple and visual expressions of the brand. Countries have flags; companies have logos. Too often a logo is seen as something that exists on its own, disconnected, like a piece of ice instead of the tip of the iceberg. A true brandmark is much more than a signature. Over time, it becomes synonymous with the company, its reputation and its ethos.

Beneath the tip of the iceberg lies the larger visual identity system — the overall look and feel. It determines elements such as color, fonts, graphic styles, photography, key messages, voice and tone. Below the water lies the unseen, yet all-important foundation of it all: the brand strategy. This work is about defining the different aspects of the brand, including personality, core purpose, positioning, target audiences and the central theme — the BIG IDEA.

All of the different parts of a brand work together to create a solid and cohesive whole. Each piece is as important as the next, and you can’t have one without the support and strength of the others.