Over the last year I have seen two design firms offer contests where the winners get a brand. You can argue about how smart the general strategy is but the issue I see is what it says about the service we provide. It lowers a brand to a door prize, a “thing” someone can win and gain value from.
In trying to figure out why this bothered me I started thinking about fact that this brand they are offering is coming from the outside in. The winner decides to apply for the content out of a desire to win. If they had made their brand a priority they could have bought it in the first place instead of trying to win one. My point with this is that great brands can only be created from the inside out. It’s not a sticker that you put around a business. That is not what we do.
My contention, and the way we have built our model, is that we need to approach what we do differently. If real change and a real brand come from the inside then we need to get to the inside.