Whitening toothpaste.

The moment you believe you build brands you have missed the point. Understanding that we define brands reframes the objectives and process of development.

Phillip J. Clayton
3 min readJan 23, 2022
Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash

The risk of business is a strong brand

Yes. Sometimes, a company may need to restructure itself and internal processes to meet consumer demand and needs, but only then does the brand dictate business management and product development. That said, the brand is not there to rebuild the company, it started forming the moment the company had its first customer. You are engaging with the company to help define what that brand is so it can better represent and communicate to the consumer.

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two — and only two — basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” — Peter Drucker

Reframing the objective and process of brand design and development starts with understanding the company, its products, and consumer needs.

A company should define its passion and be true to it. A constant focus on this passion radiates, others can see it. They will feel it. having a passion allows for clear thinking and all stakeholders will care deeply about it.

A combination of passion with the abilities, or skills will reveal exceptional development and management. Dedication leads to breakthroughs.

You have to be dedicated in order to hone innovation because innovation leads to discovery, things that only come from regular research and development (R and D) this is the secret to a successful company, ultimately a strong brand, a successful brand.

A brand is only as strong as the thing it represents.

Seek inspiration from unlikely places, insights often come from exploring other industries and places that may reveal new opportunities, new solutions, new needs.

Remain curious and do it differently, there are no rules. Creativity and innovation are born when breakthroughs happen, go against the grain, ignore the rules. But understand that attention brings insight, stay focused on the vision and core fundamentals of what you do but remain curious.

In a video shared by Foundr on Instagram Steve Jobs said someone told him “if you do the right things on the top line, the bottom line will follow.” No truer words have ever been spoken. If you focus more on the bottom line, then the top will not be led well. Also, that’s not how you invest in a brand. Steve went on further to speak about having the right strategy, the right people, and more importantly, the right culture, you will by default do the right things, the right logistic, the right products, and so forth. Watch the video on Instagram.

A company that explores uncertain, unfamiliar paths is not void of fear but has a much bigger vision than the present and has so much more to gain. Mediocrity is a lack of critical thinking and critical thinking is where creativity is found. There should be an environment or space inside the company for exploration and testing.

A process needs an objective in order to exist. When clients make an investment into brand design and development, they are not paying for results they are actually investing in the process. Similarly, a company that desires a great brand needs to invest in the process.

The brand should represent this mindset, it should be a promise to the consumer, exceeding expectations. The brand does not sell features, it leverages them by presenting benefits, the value.

Image from Insider.com

The brand thinks about what the consumer would ask, “what can this do for me?” presented in the book Creative Strategy and the Business of Design by Douglas Davis. Think of it this way, the statement also made in Douglas’s book, “People don’t buy whitening toothpaste for white teeth, they buy it for self-confidence.”



Phillip J. Clayton

Brand consultant | Strategic advisor | International brand & marketing design judge: pac-awards.com | Writer | Creative director