The world is a big place, with billions of people in it, having a billion different ideas every second, millions of which morph into brands. Yet, every so often a brand so inhabits the collective consciousness, it transcends beyond mere product or brand.

Take these examples. When someone reaches for a tissue they ask, “Can I have a ‘Kleenex’?” If they go inline skating, they’ll call it “Rollerblading.” I don’t even know what people call Popsicles other than Popsicles ­– frozen… stick…treats? There’s an entire website devoted to reminding people that you don’t search online; you “Google”  (The site is Let Me Google That For You and it is wonderful.)

The fact of the matter is that these brands have all created a product or service, refined it to the greatest extent possible, put it out to the world, and strived to make it more than the sum of its parts. They aren’t a cotton swab, they’re a Q-Tip.

Now in an age where words like bromancechillax and noob have found footing in the Oxford English Dictionary, it may seem like an easy task to rise above the noise and become a part of the lexicon, but take stock. It's a pretty amazing feat for people to:

        a) recognize your brand name

        b) use it universally to describe a product

        c) be unsure of what to call popsicles other than popsicles

Of course it’s not necessarily your business’ goal to become ubiquitous in the collective consciousness of the world. But no doubt it is your business’ goal to become ubiquitous in the collective consciousness of your own specific customer base. You don’t want your desired customers to even consider going elsewhere for the product or service that you deliver.

So then. Here are a few tips to put you on the path to Sharpie.

  1. 1. Set yourself up for success – Your brand has to be formed through who you are, what you do and what you believe in. Whether your logo is sharp and edgy, round and bubbly or simple and elegant, it should be representative of the personality that your company has nurtured. What is that personality? What are the values your business lives by? How do you want your customers to see you? An unforgettable brand works from the inside out. Know yourself, and then make every decision, from paint colour to staff hires to logo font, reflect your truth.

  1. 2. Make your product great – If you’ve chosen to build a business around making a product, chances are you think it’s great. Oftentimes it starts out that way and then, as time goes and pressure mounts, we forget to maintain that level of quality. Be unrelenting in your quality control, and be merciless when it comes to enforcing good customer service habits. One bad experience can turn a life-long user into a detractor.

  1. 3. Ask for help – You’re equipped to do the work, but you may not have the time. Asking for help is hard, especially when it comes to defining what your company is. But growing your business is a full-time job and an agency will be able to tap into something that you won’t –  emotional UN-investment. An agency can act as an observer and cut through the longstanding emotional ties that you make when creating a company.

You may not be ready now, but when you are: drop us a line


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