Until now, when you Googled, “What is a Living Brand,” you got an answer that is something like this one:
”A Living Brand is where every part of the business has been filtered through the brand framework so that over time (first internally, then externally) perceptions are aligned to it.”
– that definition comes straight from the number one search result in Google.
While we agree with definitions like this one, we also think this feels like cold hands in a doctor’s visit. (Did you shiver?)
When you’re building your own brand, you want to build something that sustains you. Something lights your fire. Your brand is the thing that combines your knowledge with your passion and you want everyone that sees what you’ve created to feel it in their bellies (almost) as strongly as you do.
That, my lovely friend, is what you’re really asking for when you search, “what is a living brand?”
So What is it?
Let’s start here: A “Living Brand” is a brand whose values radiate throughout every aspect of its business.
The “perception” piece in the definition above is a bit of a misnomer. It’s not just important whether a brand is perceived to be aligned with their framework. A living brand strives to ensure that aspect of the business upholds the core values within everything they do. They do not need to be perfect at this – but it is certainly more than a “perception.”
A living brand is alive
Living brands respect life because they are alive. When you build your business, you’re not building something static. You’re not creating a set it and forget it store.
This is an ever-evolving work of art. You will find many iterations of your own methods, you are striving to get better all the time – better packaging, more competitive pricing, a sustainable alternative to your preservative ingredient, or a safer working environment for your employees – whatever it is, you want to be better.
You are keeping up with the latest trends and evolving as times change socially as well.
A living brand is dynamic
You’re the full package. The two-dimensional shop doesn’t elicit trust, and it shouldn’t.
Just as the world around you and the creatures living it shift and feel and breathe and think, so too does a living brand. They push for and excel at progress over time. They stay inspired and share inspiration with the people and other brands around them.
A living brand does not exist in a vacuum
As dynamism comes to play a new fact arises: a living brand interacts with its surroundings. You are aware that your content and your mission doesn’t exist in a vacuum. That the brand may be the center of the entrepreneur’s world, but it is not the center of its customer’s world.
This type of business respects the information out there, connects with other brands and people on similar missions, and takes the impact of a political and socioeconomic climate in stride.
A living brand lights a fire
And when you’re building your brand, you have a fire in you that needs to come forward. A living brand helps light that fire in others through education and research into solutions. These are businesses built around changing the world, one step at a time.
The Backbones Behind these Brands
Values – Living Brands have a strong Brand Value System. It helps them to stay on course when things get difficult.
Strength – This type of business takes strength to operate. Strength of mind and of character. It’s easy to cut corners or ignore issues. But that steel spine in a brand owner knows they’re on the right path.
Pride – Even though they are dynamic and they are affected by the climate around them, they are proud and a bit self righteous. It’s not easy changing the world.
Information – brands that want to change the world use emotion and information to do it. These brands are constantly researching, learning, and educating themselves and others in the face of doubt.
Don’t Forget The Importance of Sustainability
One thing that you rarely find in the basic definitions, but is absolutely vital in our definition of a living brand, is the sustainability factor.
Life is a series of cycles of intentional growth and death. And so is any living brand.
Entrepreneurs that are focused on this high level of thinking when they start to build a brand that can sustain them, realize that they have to do it without destroying the world around them.
They realize that empowering their customers to take action and to make a difference in our world is much more nourishing than just making a quick buck off the backs of the disenfranchised people, plants, and animals on our planet.
For this reason, we add sustainability to our definition. And we define it with four categories that we think are integral to being a sustainable, living brand: environmental impact, ethical sourcing, social good, and inclusivity focused.
These sustainability categories are why we started our working on our newest project: The Living Brand Directory.
Join the Living Brand Directory
We have a beautiful following and we get to talk to brand owners and aspiring entrepreneurs every single day. We want to honor these brave people that step up for their values and strive to find solutions.
Over the years we have learned a lot, but one thing stands out: Being a sustainable business owner can be lonely.
So we set about building a place where brand owners can grow their customers, feel like they are part of a community, and connect with each other: The Living Brand Directory!
Being listed on the directory is free, and it will always stay free.
We are reaching out to brands and accepting applications to be listed on the directory! We hand-vet every single brand that’s listed to ensure they are trustworthy and fit within the definition of “A Living Brand” you see here.
Apply to get listed now and soon, your free listing will make the difference between someone choosing your product or choosing a less sustainable alternative.