Branding Considerations for TechWomen

Alain Bolduc speaks about Branding to the TechWomen at Autodesk

Today, the TechWomen and I attended a presentation by the Associate Creative Director of Autodesk’s Brand Creative team, Alain Bolduc. The title was “Branding: Things To Consider.” I’ll briefly share some of the key points in the hope that its useful for the TechWomen at other companies who couldn’t attend.

First of all, what is a brand? It’s much more than the logo, fonts, and colors on your website.

“Your brand is a promise that you’re making to your customer. The logo is the guarantee.”

A promise of what? This is the story that each brand has to tell.

“Coming up with the right brand means coming up with the right story and getting it straight — telling it in the most compelling way possible.”

For those of us who are working to create positive social impact (which is part of the DNA of TechWomen, as I understand it), this means clearly showing what problems we’re going to solve, how we’re going to help solve them and make the world a better place.

“Story is the most important thing. Whatever you do, don’t compromise the story.”

When we act in consistent alignment with the stories of our brands, over time, we build trust.

“Once you’ve built trust, that’s your holy grail. This is what will help your brand grow.”

Remember that trust takes a long time to earn (how long did it take you to win the trust of your friends and peers?), and can be broken in an instant. So consistency over the long haul is key.

When thinking about brands, naturally we think of the big multinationals — Apple, Google, Coca Cola — a who have spent millions or hundreds of millions of dollars building and promoting their brands. While these brands provide useful points of reference, Alain made this important point:

“Your goal isn’t to become a household name. Your goal is to connect with your audience.”

This connection starts within, with the degree to which you believe in the importance of what your brand offers. Therefore, brand development is an inside-out process.

“If you believe the story, if you get your team and others to believe with you and become passionate about it, the rest will come together.”

Although the brand originates from a deeply personal place, it can’t remain purely personal.

“Extract yourself from the brand so this thing can live on by itself. Because it will have to.”

What it boils down to is this:

“Your brand is the impression that people have about you when you leave the room.”

This is just a quick share of some of the highlights from the presentation. Hopefully it helps you in some way are your team works to create an awesome success story with your own brand!

If you have wisdom to share or questions about branding, please share them in the comments. Love to hear your thoughts…

The Autodesk TechWomen 2016, with Alain Bolduc and co-mentor Doreen Hinton