Brand advice from a music legend

I’m a song junkie.  I have hundreds of songs on my iPhone and my collection is eclectic – everything from piano sonatas to pop and hard rock.  The other day I found myself humming a tune and it made me think about brand. 

It was a line from a song by James Taylor.  Whenever I see your smiling face I want to smile myself…

That’s it, I thought - a really good way to think about the role of a brand.  Done well it puts a face on a company and creates emotional connection.  In other words, it helps to make an organisation human.

Done really, really well and on a consistent basis it might even extend to the next lines of the song: Whenever I see your smiling face I want to smile myself…because I love you.

Now I realise that last bit is a big step up.  Few companies ever reach that level. 

But the idea still works.  People relate to people far better than anything else.  It can be positive AND negative.  Brands make you human.  Here’s the rub: You, your organisation already have a brand whether you like it or not.  Does it make people smile or frown?

I’ll let James finish the brand lesson for today:

And when you give me that pretty little pout,

It turns me inside out.

There's something about you, baby,

I don't know.

Lyrics by James Taylor