I often hear the phrase ‘Brand DNA’ bandied about, and for me, it demonstrates either a misunderstanding of what DNA is, or what a brand is. DNA is a blueprint, it is unchanging and carries al the information a body needs to develop and grow. But a brand is constantly evolving and changing, not following some unchanging blue print.
If we want to think of a humanistic model, it may be best to consider the nature-nurture dialectic. Sure, the DNA represents the ‘nature’ what the brand starts off with, the entrepreneurial idea and all the initial collateral. But, then nurture takes over, how we ‘bring up’ the brand, the effect of its environment, culture and the effects of its peers. Unlike a human, the original DNA might all but disappear. Look at WPP the world’s leading advertising group. Its DNA is that of a wire, supermarket trolley manufacturer. No, for brands forget the DNA and look at the living, breathing, changing brand.