How to Succeed When People Judge Your Brand By Its "Cover"

You can't judge a book by its cover. At least, that's what people always say.

The problem with this old adage is the fact that people do judge a book by its cover regardless of whether that's "right" or not.

All humans intuitively make judgements of the things they interact with. Such snap judgements are actually a natural function of the human brain, despite any of the obvious downsides to them.

In fact, they are a survival instinct and a way that humans make sense of the world.  

What does this mean for your brand?

Whether you like it or not, people will judge your brand by its external appearance.

You could have the greatest team, the best customer service, and the most worthy mission around, but still be ineffective if your “cover” leaves a bad impression.

So, what’s the solution?

At Bilateral Creative, I like to say that every brand has two sides: external and internal.

Brand Symmetry is when your brand's external expression to the world (E) reflects its true, internal identity (I).

Brand Symmetry is when your brand's external expression to the world (E) reflects its true, internal identity (I).

The external side of a brand is everything that the outside world sees and interacts with initially. These things include logo design, web design, physical location, advertising, marketing, and communication.

Many brand’s cut corners in these areas and end up looking like everyone else. That, or they end up with a “cover” that doesn’t fit who they really are.

When this happens, your audience can become confused. You're also more likely to get lost in the crowd, so your ability to attract peoples attention decreases.

The solution to these problems is something I like to call Brand Symmetry.

Brand Symmetry is when your design, branding, and marketing all reflect your brand’s true, internal identity.

In other words, the two sides of your brand (external and internal) reflect one another.

How to Achieve Brand Symmetry

There are hundreds of steps that brand’s can take to better reflect their true identity, but today I want to focus on three major categories:

1. Quality design.

It’s never been easier to go online and find someone who will design a “logo” for dirt cheap. Unfortunately, these generic, one-size-fits-all solutions will usually end up doing you more harm than good. They don’t take into account your brand’s distinct identity, audience, and mission.

Cheap designs will produce cheap results and leave your brand blending in with the crowd.

You really do get what you pay for.

That’s why at Bilateral Creative I provide brands with professional logo and website designs that reflect their true identities. Logos and websites like this make a powerful statement. They help you communicate effectively and achieve your goals.

2. Learn more about your brand.

You can’t accurately communicate who you are if you’re not even sure who you are to begin with.

That’s why it’s important to spend time getting to know your brand. Ask yourself insightful questions like these:

  • What’s my brand’s personality?
  • What problems does my brand or product solve?
  • What kind of people have these problems?
  • If my brand were a person, what would it sound like when it talks?
  • What lens does my brand see the world through?
  • What things is my brand against?

Getting to know your brand can be hard and time consuming, but it’s worth the clarity and focus it will provide.

I recommend getting your whole team on board. Dedicate several days or even a week to openly discussing and discovering who you are as a brand. Bring in some outsiders too. They’ll be able to provide insights you would have never been able to see without them.

Bilateral Creative can help you do this. I consult with brands and help guide them through the process of understanding who they are. You’ll be able to save time, get a stronger grasp on your brand identity, and come away with practical steps to help you succeed.

3. Make changes to your brand or product.

There are many brands that look great on the outside, but they’re actually a mess on the inside.

If you honestly evaluate your brand and realize that it has some flaws, you’ll want to focus on fixing them immediately.

Other brands might evaluate their identity and realize they’ve been pursuing the wrong things. If this is the case, you might have to consider actually rebranding your company or organization completely. 

This is why its important to develop your brand's identity ahead of time.

The Benefits of Brand Symmetry

When you have a great “cover” for your brand that accurately communicates what you’re all about, great things can happen.

You’ll become more credible, attract more attention, and communicate more effectively.

You can't stop people from judging your brand by its cover, but you can start making your cover accurately reflect who you really are.