Content // Brand DNA

Brand DNA

By Matthew Desotell
Sep 25, 2018

What is the DNA of something?  The Essence of something.  The Heart.  The Soul.  The Mind.  The Why.  That which the “whole” is derived from.

A self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms..

…the carrier of genetic information…

The fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something, especially when regarded as unchangeable.

However we want to refer to it, think of it, or talk about it, whatever IT is for a brand, it should be so well defined that everyone, at every level, knows what it is and can easily talk about it.  Whatever the DNA or “story” is, once it’s well defined, it can then be realized and actualized.  Everyone from the person taking the trash late at night, to the top CO or most public face of the org knows the story. And I can tap anyone of them on the shoulder at any time and they can tell.  I can wake them up from a nap abruptly and they can tell. I can bump into them on the street at an off moment and they can tell me. They can tell me in an elevator ride up to the 7th floor or up to the 32nd.  Over a quick drink, or through an extended conversation.  If they all know the story, and why it is and how it is, they can sell it.  And it doesn’t even matter if they disagree with the story.  If they’re not aligned they should still know it.  Whether or not they should be on your team is another thing.  Those that are, may not only know it but might be living, walking, breathing examples of it. Disciples. Evangelical even.

However ingrained within an organization, the essence of the brand DNA will then exist through all the places you might encounter the brand’s product or message.  A brochure.  An Instagram story.  A tweet.  A caption.  A 2 min facebook video or 30 sec TV spot.  A hashtag.  Doesn’t matter.  Everywhere you go, there it is.  The brand DNA. The essential ingredients. The source. The highest point on the mountain or the deepest point of the well, from which we drink the water far away.  This DNA can be so ingrained and well distributed, it might be registered at mere a glance, imprinting on us visually.  Whether we know the whole story or not, the traces of the source are there in color, shape, context, words and imagery. It can translate through product photography and packaging.  A tag line or post caption.  Where ever the brand is, the DNA lives.  It is not exclusive. It’s inseparable and always present.  Not just in pictures, but in its people.  In customer service. In sales.  If done right in the macro and micro, it’s in the air – in the energy of its people, representatives and work culture, and maybe in the paint on the walls – in the warmth or coolness, or in the texture, or the absence of texture.

The DNA. It’s the first thing. It’s the last thing. When the robots take over someday and clean up the crime scene, the last thing they’ll scrape off, is the essence of all that you ever were.  The DNA will be the first and best thing you ever were.  And until those damn robots kill us all – let’s build the strongest DNA and story we can!