The Art of Brand Building: Sculpting Success Like Statues

A Better Way to Think About Brand Series – Part Three

Every statue begins the same way: a blank piece of stone. Without the vision and skill of the sculptor creating the statue, the stone would forever be featureless and blank, like an empty canvas prior to being painted.

Sculptors see statues in a different light. A trained sculptor might see a marble column and clearly visualize the statue “hidden” within the stone. You can think of your brand as the same kind of thing, as a beautiful work hidden beneath the greater piece of material.

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Revealing your brand’s truest version

When a sculptor begins working on a statue, they don’t progress by adding to the material or attaching new pieces on top of the stone. Instead, they begin with the largest piece necessary for their art, then carve away whatever they don’t need.

The entire statue is already within the stone piece. All the sculptor has to do is reveal it.

Building a brand successfully is a lot like sculpting a statue (though the tools and strategy involved are very different!). You don’t start with a brand idea and continually add pieces to the whole. You start with a broad brand idea, then whittle away the things you don’t need, or that don’t serve your greater vision until you have only the valuable essentials left.

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Enhancement through refinement

You might worry that enhancing your brand through refining what it is and what it means can be more destructive than productive. But this process has several beneficial effects:

  • It makes it easier for target audience members to quickly grasp and identify with your brand
  • It allows you to more effectively target all of your messaging across all marketing channels and branding campaigns
  • It prevents you from wasting valuable time and energy on brand elements that don’t serve your company and its objective

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Maximizing inherent attraction when building a brand

Art is intensely subjective. Someone might look at Michelangelo’s David and see one of the greatest works of art to come from Western culture. Another person might look at that famous marble statue and see nothing more than a man. Both of these opinions are “accurate” – they’re true for the people viewing the piece.

Similarly, your brand will only be the right fit for some people. When you first start building a brand, the unlimited potential of possibility can be invigorating to the imagination, but it can also be detrimental to your long-term brand vision. It’s easy to become so enthralled with the idea of building something amazing and attractive to everyone that you end up sculpting a statue that lacks a clear focus or identity.

But by treating your brand like a statue you can refine and reveal over time, you can eventually create something that has real meaning for people, that says something powerful in its niche, and that achieves specific goals. In other words, a statue-sculpting mindset will help you build the best possible version of your brand, enabling it to achieve its greatest potential.

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Brands aren’t stagnant like statues

As we explained in the last blog of this series, your brand can’t be everything for all people at once. But by thinking about brand magnetism and purposefully crafting your brand as though it’s a statue, you’ll build something that’s unique, interesting, and, most of all, powerfully appealing to your target customers.

That all said, statues are stagnant by nature. They don’t change as the years go on, and great care is taken to preserve them in their original forms. Brands are different in the ways they necessarily shift under the pressures of time and market forces. In our next piece of this series, we’ll discuss the third and final beneficial way to think about brand…

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