Brand identity: Friedman or Faber?

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The debate is ignited between the ideas of Milton Friedman, an economist guru in the 1970s with his book “The Social Responsibility of Business is to increase its profits” and those of Emmanuel Faber, president of Danone, very sensitive to a new vision of the company based on sharing and social justice.

Indeed, some argue forcefully that good feelings have never met the economic requirements of a company, which must above all make profits to “run the machine”. And this, without having too many moods, with a management dominated by profitability alone. A management under pressure which often works and participates in the happiness of the shareholders… and by runoff to the employees !

Others, such as Emmanuel Faber, in a famous speech to an audience of future HEC managers, declared “Now, after all these decades of growth, the challenge of the economy, of globalization, is social justice. Without social justice, there will be no economy.

Between the apostle of economic liberalism and the humanist preacher, who can believe?

Your challenge: brand identity

I do not believe in peremptory statements: your society is first and foremost a story, an experience and above all a will, yours!

Also, far from taking sides, it is up to you to define the brand identity of your firm and especially to stick to it by developing your brand identity charter, based on the following items:

  • Positioning: the difference + the signature that commits the company
  • Origin: its history, its founding principles
  • Vision: its philosophy, its societal dimension, its economic role
  • Mission: its business, its know-how
  • Values: its intangible values that guide its approach and that it wishes to share
  • Ambition: its marketing and sales objectives
  • Style and tone: its graphic, editorial and editorial personality. This brand platform illustrates your corporate culture. Some leaders do not consider it useful to write this platform. They are wrong because it constitutes the reason for the existence of the company, and even more participates, beyond its global strategy, of the employer-brand, in order to find the best talents. On the contrary, essential work to give meaning to the existence of the firm.

Your methodology for the development of the brand platform

“From the method is born the creation” without wanting to approach the discourse of the Method which has its limits, the platform of brand of your company is too vital a charter not to follow a precise methodology.
Of course, defining a brand platform begins with the elaboration of the points mentioned above. But do not think that after describing these items you have completed your task. It lacks all the flavor of the identity heritage: structuring and differentiating signs, semi-linguistic analysis, visual identity, mood-board)

Expression platform: why?

Positioning is not enough. You need to define an editorial line based on a proprietary language based on the following significant aspects:

  • Signature
  • Semantic fields : wording
  • Tone and Style: discursive register, tone
  • Language design: colors, shapes, graphic treatment
  • Iconographic principles: reflection, product
  • Illustrative symbols: icons
  • Expression platform: how?

Where to find the right information? How to find the right insights?

Follow this procedure:

  • 1 or 2 internal interviews with key contacts
  • Creativity session in the form of co-working client
  • Semi-linguistic analysis of identity heritage (differentiating signs)
  • Semi-linguistic analysis of the category’s territories of expression – in particular those of direct and indirect competitors in terms of image and products
  • Define areas saturated with verbal expressions
  • Search for virgin and unpublished territories
  • Expression platform: questions to get to know you better

To help you put forward your platform of expression, here are some questions that will enlighten your vision:


– Where did you get your name? What are your values?
– What is your signature?
– How would you define your personality?


– What do you bring to your customers? What is your mission?
– What are your short and medium term objectives?

By structuring your brand identity through the development of a brand platform supported by an expression platform, you build solid foundations for the success of your marketing, communication and sales strategy. With one major asset: consistency.

By giving clear perspectives to your collaborators, you trace their road and yours!

Brand preference: the end result of a good brand platform

Last but not least: prospects will prefer your brand. For one simple reason: a shared understanding of your difference.
It is up to you to amplify this difference by marketing the appropriate offer which, while broadening your targets, always fits into the identity paradigm that you have determined. This is the price of your company’s sustainability. To know more about brand identity and branding activities, click here to contact us!

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