Effective Branding: Your Nation’s Flag


Read Time: 2 Min

It’s Flag Day you guys, and you know what that means.

The time has come to raise those Stars and Stripes, start up the grill, catch a parade, and maybe even clink a glass for Betsy Ross. Or, maybe you’re like the rest of us, settling for watching a flag ripple in the occasional gust outside your window at work.

We adopted Old Glory as our nation’s symbol 235 years ago. Since then, the design has been modified 26 times. Remember this?

Original American Flag

(By DevinCook [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

This was the very first rendition of the American flag: thirteen stars and stripes representing the foundation upon which our young country was built. Of course, the motif has been expanded to better represent the present-day US.

Current American Flag

(By Dbenbenn, Zscout370, Jacobolus, Indolences, Technion. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

It’s pretty amazing that an entire nation’s essence can be summed up in a series of colors and shapes. What do you see when you look at our flag? Better yet, what do you feel? Go with me on this…what might you smell or hear when you see the red, white and blue? I can smell the sharp sulfur plumes of fireworks, hear the sizzle of the barbeque, feel the heat of summer on my skin.

Betsy Ross

What a Betty, er, Betsy. (Creative Commons Image from Resources for History Teachers)

An effective brand stretches beyond the logo and tagline. It evokes an immediate, primal reaction. It inspires an overall emotional resonance. What do your customers feel when they experience your identity?

There’s a fantastic book by Marty Neumeier called The Brand Gap that speaks directly to these point — it’s available here and can be e–enjoyed (for free) in one sitting. Did I mention it’s free? Check it out, even if you’re not in the advertising world. There are so many wonderfully poignant tidbits that can be applied to many aspects of business and, really, life.

So, the next time you favor one brand of something over another, challenge yourself to consider why. What swayed you? What were you experiencing? Oh, and a very Happy Flag Day to you!

See our recent work here. And don’t hesitate to reach out.

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