What's in a Brand?
People often ask me where the name for my company came from. That's something I'll answer a little later on, but reflecting on this left me thinking about what is in a brand and why do we care about them? Lots of brand names have no meaning or names that have little in a modern context. Coke, Nike, Intel are all good examples. Nike happens to be the Greek goddess of victory, yet if you do a Google search on the name, the shoe company has completely eclipsed the goddess they named the company for. What's left, is what the company personifies and represents, which in itself has redefined what the name actually means to people.
Beyond simple curiosity, it then becomes much more interesting to ask, what does your company name represent? Or by extension, as an employee, what kind of company do you want to be associated with? For me, the name Metal Toad Media, the logo and all of the branding assets are incidental. What truly matters is that the company that I work for adheres to a set of values that I care about. For me, these values include respect, a desire to help and the opportunity to seek out and share knowledge. No matter the name of my company or even the industry I work in, those are core values that I always want to see represented.
The simple answer to the question about the genesis of the name Metal Toad Media, is it came from seeing a metal toad paperweight on my desk when I was choosing an email address. This is about an arbitrary beginning as you can get. The day the name was chosen, it was as devoid of meaning as anything could be, but overtime it has become a brand associated with things we, as a company deliver: high-end digital deliverables - underpinned by a customer experience supported by our values. Now, the brand and the name have value, but only as long as the brand promise continues to be delivered on. The day that promise dies, is the day the value of the brand starts to wither.
Brands are meaningless without a set of values, that are believed in, lived and delivered on. So ask yourself: what kind of brand do you want to be associated with and/or help create?