We’re food people at Mavich. Not necessarily “foodies” in the hipster sense of the word, but with Italian ownership, the undeniable undercurrent of love for food in all forms runs deep in the heart of the office culture.
We believe in potlucks, birthday cakes, and Doughnut Fridays. (And Bagel Wednesdays. And sometimes Taco Tuesdays.) There’s more than one candy source, and more than one conversation on the daily about the lunch locale.
It’s a unifying force for our people, food, and we aren’t unique. At all. James Beard once said, “Food is our common ground. A universal experience.”
James gets it. People get food. It makes sense. If I told my family I became a pastry chef, I would probably get hit with a million huhs? But not a single what are pastries? What do pastries do? Why are pastries important? Who uses pastries?
What doesn’t my family get? I’m in the branding business. And they aren’t unique with their constant what does that mean exactly’s. At all. Branding has become a vague buzzword peppered into marketing articles for that sweet, sweet SEO, and often misunderstood. It’s tricky to explain succinctly at the dinner table.
I hail from the land of cowboy boots, barbed wire, and wheat fields where branding is something unpleasant cattle go through; where the word is used intentionally and often in its original form. Branding is rooted in 2,000 B.C., when agrarian societies began marking livestock with distinct symbols that represented ownership. When families saw a stray goat, they knew what to do with it.
In the same way, when we see golden arches today, we know what’s up; we know there’s a bucketful of salty french fries at the end of that yellow rainbow.
Branding today refers to a set of marketing and communication tools that tell people who a company is. This includes all of the visual representations that are associated with the company (logos, advertisements, packaging, etc.), in addition to connotative associations the company has curated over time.
When I’m explaining my job to my family, I tell them to think of anything they’ve ever seen with a logo on it: pens, stress balls, vinyl signage, letterhead, business cards, etc. That’s a significant piece of the branding pie, and that’s what I do. And those logos? On the pens? Sometimes we make those, too. We really like that part, because we’re awesome at crafting logos.
At its most intrinsic level, building your brand is like building the ultimate sandwich.
You start with bread. This is non-negotiable. You have to have bread, or you do not have a sandwich. Logos are the bedrock, the real bread of branding. Whatever physical or emotional characteristics you want associated with your business, they stem from your logo. Whether you’re starting from scratch, are in need of a serious image refresh, or have a design you’re completely in love with that tells the story of your business in just the right way -this is your starting point. It sets the tone for your sandwich.
With bread established, the toppings are truly limitless; an infinite deli buffet of promotional products, custom apparel, and printing services to craft a strategy 100% custom to your taste buds (or the taste buds of your target customers.)
At Mavich, we love sandwiches, and we love building brands for people. At the end of the day, it really is that simple.