GALLERIES

    how to build a strong brand image

    (a real-life example of what not to do)

    Silhouette of a woman dancing in a field with text - how to build a strong brand image

    Before I explain how to build a strong brand image for your business (and it will blow you away how simple it is!), let’s unpack this news story headline because it’s a truly excellent example of what not to do:

    A news story headline with text: Rapper Lil Nas X appointed chief impact officer of Taco Bell as more brands embrace uninhibited stars. The singer represents "an authentic manifestation of this openness, this irreverence, this rebellion" that brands want to capture, one marketing expert said.

    First of all, Chief Impact Officer is a very real job position at a lot of companies. From my understanding, it typically involves measuring the actual progress that a company is making toward achieving its mission (turns out mission statements aren’t just word salad – surprise!). So it’s unclear how Lil Nas X is qualified for that position… it’s either a cute honorary title for a marketing campaign or someone out there is working overtime to delete pertinent résumé information from his Wikipedia page.

    But I digress. This post isn’t about Lil Nas X, despite his exceedingly rewatchable music videos.

    It’s not about the role of a Chief Impact Officer, either.

    It isn’t even about Taco Bell (although ask me again at 11 pm. after I’ve been drinking all day).

    It’s about the quote in the last paragraph:

    “The singer represents ‘an authentic manifestation of this openness, this irreverence, this rebellion’ that brands want to capture, one marketing expert said.”

    In other words:

    “We either aren’t willing or don’t know how to use openness, irreverence, and rebellion in our own brand image, so we’re just gonna use a spokesperson to do it for us.” -Brands

    This is reason #899 why the branding industry makes me want to gouge my eyes out with tiny collector’s edition spoons.

    Corporations attempt to create fancy brands that are absolutely definitive, and in the process they end up putting themselves in a stiff little box. Instead of being flexible enough to simply BE open and irreverent and rebellious, they have to partner with someone who symbolizes their brand ideals to get their point across. 

    I’m not claiming spokespeople and influencers are automatically bad – partnerships can be a strong component of a marketing strategy! But when you depend on an external factor to communicate your brand message, it’s a billboard-sized warning sign you need to refocus your brand strategy.

    A clean, modern desk and chair sit against a wall. The sun is coming through the blinds. With text - how to build a strong brand image with a real-life example of what not to do.

    Your business doesn’t exist to just make money and then fade away. Your business is here as a tool to help you change. the. world. But in order to harness that power, you have to know how to build a strong brand image.

    How to build a strong brand image:

    Poke fun at the stuff that pisses you off.

    Share your real, true, actual ideas instead of resharing a meme.

    Take a stand for what you believe in AND be willing to offend people in the process.

    Represent your values instead of just partnering with someone who does.

    Be open and irreverent and rebellious all by yourself.

    Be your own brand spokesperson, because nothing is more authentic than that.

    Ready to start building a genuine brand for your own business?

    previous post
    October 4, 2021


    Hi, I’m Asia!

    I help entrepreneurs build effective brands so their work has a greater impact on the world. I live in the PNW with my dude and my dog, I’m a big fan of good beer and bad words, and I believe real bravery is eating tacos in a white shirt.


    Take the quiz


    Straight from the ‘gram


    Let’s socialize