June 08, 2022|
2 min read
How Brand Clarity (The “why”) adds to Our Understanding
Knowing “the why” often relates to two clarity questions: Why are we here and what are our values?
When we answer, “why are we here?”, we’re talking about purpose. What is it that our brand is here to do? Levi’s does more than make jeans. They are the original jean. Durable, comfortable, fashionable…a brand that you can’t throw out as they have so many memories. The brand that you feel like you can live in…they can take you anywhere. Guess or Tommy Hilfiger can’t say any of that. And how do they support it, with attributes or values like humble, empathy, originality, integrity, and courage?
Our purpose informs our values. If Levi’s is here to make jeans you want to live in, then they need to be so clear on who their customer is and their changing needs. They need to be forward-thinking on quality, fabrics, style, new technology, and an internal culture that ensures their clothes maintain that core point of difference.
Think about a clear pond on a still morning. The water is smooth and calm, and it’s so crystal clear you can see right down to the bottom. If there were an iceberg in the pond, you’d be able to see how far down it goes.
That’s good for our brands because so much of them lies beneath the “surface.” I like using the tree metaphor, where the “roots” of our brand—the “why” or values—are hidden from us. Yet they’re crucial for our survival. If our roots wither, then our brands can’t get the nourishment they need. They’ll shrivel up and die.
Clarity lets us see what’s “at the bottom” of the brand—like we can see the bottom of the pond or the bottom of the iceberg.
When we can see that—the bottom of our brand iceberg, the roots of our brand tree—we
can understand our brands. It’s not just a surface-level picture. It’s that deeper knowledge of the brand.
From there, it’s easy for us to make better decisions for our brands.
That is why we always have to start with the why!
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