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  • Writer's pictureDavid Lynch

Improve your branding effectiveness by answering the question "WHY?"

Joanne Ometz needed a logo for her new business, Mindfulness For Dogs. She found me through Asheville Grown. Joanne sounded a little hesitant when she informed me that her business coach would be part of her decision-making team. I know from experience that the more decision-makers involved in a project like a logo design, the more challenging it can be. However, I quickly realized that a having a business coach guiding a mutual client could make my job much easier. Boy, was I right! Joanne introduced me to coach Glenn Geffcken of Balanced Is, who exposed me to the branding work of Simon Sinek. When it comes to branding, Simon says, "Start with WHY." To learn more, you can watch Simon's TedTalk about his "Golden Circle" with WHY at its core. For example, Apple Computer's success isn't due to their WHAT. They make computers, just like many other companies. Apple's thrived because their WHY is: "We challenge the status quo." Therefore, they strive to make superior, innovative computers, rather than be content making products that are similar to the competition. Apple's WHY didn't limit the company to computers alone. By extrapolating their WHY, they were able to create other vanguard products like the iPod, iPad and iPhone. Glenn sent me the branding documents he had developed with Joanne. They looked a little foreign at first, because I was accustomed to analyzing WHAT products and services my clients offer. Joanne's branding document focused first and foremost on the WHY. WHAT Joanne does was included in the document, too: "We provide education and holistic dog training through assessments, one-on-one and group classes, workshops, and presentations." It also explained HOW she does her work: "We help people improve both their dogs’ behavior and their relationship with their dogs through observation, communication, and positive reinforcement." It's important information, but it doesn't convey what sets her apart from other dog trainers. When you know the reason someone leaps out of bed every morning, energized to do their work, you're much more likely to want to partner with that person. That's the all-important WHY. Joanne's WHY is: "We believe in enriching lives by strengthening relationships between dogs and people." She doesn't merely want to train your dog - she wants to make your life better! Wow! That's a much more powerful raison d'être. That's what makes Joanne unique - and what makes her business more attractive to dog owners. The invaluable branding information that Glenn and had Joanne developed helped guide me to create an equally unique logo for Mindfulness For Dogs. Joanne was thrilled with the results, and Glenn and I have teamed up to work with other startups to develop their branding and visual identities.

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