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How's your House?
I want to share a metaphor I use to communicate how culture, operations, and branding are all connected. Think of your business as a house:
The foundation is your purpose, mission, and values.
The basement is your internal brand–your company culture.
The electrical, plumbing, ductwork–basically everything in between the walls, under the floors, and above the ceilings–are how you operationalize your values and move your culture throughout the business.
The exterior is your brand–specifically how it is first perceived.
The interior–the rooms, the flow, the furniture, surface treatments, etc.–these are brand touchpoints. This is how people experience your brand.
Ok, hurry up before my brain starts punching holes in this metaphor. From a high level, thinking of your business as a house helps visualize how culture, operations, and branding are all connected.
When uncertainty hits a business, one thing I often see is the urge to change or alter the brand–whether that’s the visual identity system, voice, or customer experience. It seems to be the first instinct. I get it. Something feels off in your business and the first feeling is to change how people perceive your brand. But making that kind of change is a bit like painting walls a warm color if the temperature in your house is too cold. Seems silly, right?
Dive deeper. Check the HVAC system. Is the ductwork working properly? Is the furnace in the basement operating as it should? Or, OMG even worse, did the foundation crack and the furnace fell in?!? That last one was a leap and I would appreciate you kindly taking it with me.
When we jump on a brand project–before we start anything visual–we want to start at the foundation and work our way up. Paint color can come later. As a brand and design studio, we’ll always start with either A) understanding your culture, values, and operations or B) helping you build or rebuild these foundational systems. Why is this important? Uncertainty will always pop-up in your business. Clarity around your culture, operations, and brand–and the connections between them–allows you to confidently navigate those feelings and pinpoint where that’s coming from.
This is what we mean when we say we build brands on truth, not trends.
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