On Saturday February 21 at around lunchtime, a small group of us launched the new Return Path website. Publishing this site, also launched a new logo, brand, corporate & product messaging and entire suite of creative assets. It may have only taken a few to officially launch this site, but the entire process involved every department in the company, an outside agency and countless vendors. Really, the way it should be done.

The new returnpath.com

The new returnpath.com

I’ve come to love brand. Thinking back a little on my career, I’ve had the chance to play a role in the launches (websites & brands) for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, ArtBabble, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, ExactTarget, ExactTarget Marketing Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and now Return Path.

I’ve always loved digital, but in recent years it’s not been enough for me. I became increasingly drawn to the story, authenticity, and creative behind the experience. For me, that’s the brand and brand marketing.

Which is why I appreciate this quote so much –

“Authentic brands don’t emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does…” 

― Howard Schultz, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

This shift for me has been pretty dramatic and in many ways, has influenced my own career direction.  A couple of years ago, I was striving towards a Chief Digital Officer role (or something along those lines). These days, I’m more drawn to a creative career path (like Chief Creative Officer), especially in my current position overseeing both brand and digital. I’m thankful for this shift and as a result, arrived at some key beliefs around brand marketing.

Such as…

  • A brand features a logo, but it is not the logo.
  • The brand is a product of the company culture.
  • The employees are the brand.
  • Branding should consider everything.

This quote resonates with me regarding this –

“Entrepreneur, you are your brand. Your website, business card, speech and how you walk and talk is your brand.” – Onyi Anvado.

  • Brand marketing is both introspective and extrospective (99.9% that is a word).
  • Brands should act with authenticity and sincerity.
  • A brand is a personality.
  • An exceptional brand is consistent.
  • But a brand is not rigid.

I love this quote from Laura Busche, Lean Branding –

“People change, and so do their aspirations, and so should brands.”

This most recent experience with Return Path’s brand and site launch has once again opened my eyes to the importance of tying the branding and creative into all elements of the company – corporate messaging, employee enablement, digital strategy, event experiences, demand generation, global sensitivity and managing the integrity of the brand.

All of this requires a new professional approach and presents new challenges, something I’m thoroughly enjoying.

I leave you with this quote from Simon Mainwaring.

“The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity and accountability.”

In many ways, this quote applies to both brand and personal professional development.
As always, thank you for reading.