Between my line of work and my circle of entrepreneurial-minded friends, I am often presented with ideas for new business ventures. I am almost always impressed at their innovative ideas and business acumen. However, I am equally surprised at how hung up they can get on one component of their brand, such as the logo or the name, when, actually, a brand is the sum of its parts.

I am not saying that names and logos aren’t important. You wouldn’t name your accounting firm Embezzlers & Associates nor should you select a baby seal cartoon as your logo. However, no one item should bear the responsibility of telling your brand’s story. It’s a team effort between the name, logo, font, color, tagline, marketing and collateral materials, website, online content and social media presence just for starters.


Take Nike. By itself, what about that name means high performance athletic wear? Nothing.

Look at its logo or icon. What about that swoosh conveys hi-tech sports gear? Nothing.

Sure, it’s tagline “JUST DO IT.” brings to mind action – but let’s face it – it could just as easily mean do your homework, quit your job, or make sweet whoopee.

Do you see where I am going with this? When you set out to establish your brand, you must decide the characteristics you want people to imagine when they think of your brand and then make every decision to support that goal.

Back to Nike. They use a sans serif font to be contemporary. Can you imagine if they used Old English? It wouldn’t have the same impact would it?

Just do it thuslyTheir website uses large bold action images of their products in use. It does not include stock images of a multi-ethnic group of office workers sitting around the conference table holding manila folders, pointing at a flip chart while pretending to use a calculator.

Their website employs words like limitless, dynamic, performance, revolutionary, effortless and epic. Although I didn’t check, I am positive that the words lackluster, mediocre, humdrum, and average are nowhere on their website.

Nike’s Facebook page includes an inspiring and climax-building video featuring LeBron James leading a passionate legion of people chanting Hard Work Together. It does not feature any videos of animated sloths or migrating gnus.

Nike knows what it wants its brand to convey and makes each decision based on that. So should you. Just do it!