The Transcendent Brand

Identity is a defining characteristic of brand. For humans, identity works on two levels. Your personal identity and the identity of your culture. Having a strong sense of personal identity and cultural belonging are basic human essentials. It’s when our personal identity doesn’t sit on a solid foundation or we lack connection to a meaningful community where are mental health really starts to break down.

Everything has a brand. Your person is branded, your social groups, your home, your family, your business, your church, your tribe. It all has a brand whether intentional or not.

Brand allows us to pick up on identifiers our minds like to find through a very primitive function of our brain called pattern recognition. Pattern recognition is a survival mechanism.

Prairie dogs engage in pattern recognition and actually have adjectives in their language which consists of tiny chirps. A field study found that prairie dogs can not only distinguish whether a man or beast is approaching their mound but they can distinguish between a man wearing a yellow shirt and a man wearing a blue shirt.

To me, this signifies that our most primitive brains look for unique identifiers in the way we perceive the world and within nano-seconds we’ve found the patterns we recognize and we put question marks on the patterns we don’t. Until those question marks are resolved, out of survival instinct we must be cautious.

This is what brand does. It sends out signals and unique identifiers to give an answer to those question marks. Until the brand has resolved those question marks, the cautious brain stops forward momentum.

Who is this sales person? What resources are they trying to get me to depart with? What is this TV brand I’ve never heard of? I’m a Samsung guy. I don’t know these other brands. They could break. I could be wasting precious resources.

We need brand to provide us with comfort and ease. We need brand to tell us we are at home.

But what if your brand comes off as polarizing? Like Democrats vs Republicans. Do you dig in and trust that there are just enough people that will unite with you in the common goal of being against the other in an “us vs them” psychological battle? It might work. But is it the right thing to do? Or do you find a way to transcend the divide?

Branding that transcends the divide doesn’t just create a buyer identity of a particular community to emulate; that would be mimicry. A transcendent brand becomes the aspiration for identity of the buyer. The transcendent brand leads the way to a new and more enlightened culture and individual.

Torlando Hakes is author of the book Sprint sold on Amazon. Torlando also hosts the CTA Podcast and PaintED. Hop on Torlando’s Calendar to chat.




Author of Sprint | Craftsman Painter

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Torlando Hakes

Torlando Hakes

Author of Sprint | Craftsman Painter

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