What’s the Matter With Your Brand?

brian bennett new headshot

Brian Bennett

STIR | President
Mar 17

Every brand logo and package presents a personality. If yours isn’t tremendously appealing, therein lies a problem to be addressed. The key to developing brand and packaging appeal is in the answer to this question: What really matters?

Matter = substance that occupies space and has mass. Infuse your brand with substance, meaning and relevance.

  • Imagery matters: Your logo is the face of your brand. Packaging is your brand’s suit of clothes. Every detail makes a statement.
  • Personality matters: Positively personify your brand by giving it a true personality. 
  • Impressions matter: The unique and special get noticed. Strive to stand out among all competitors.
  • Integrity matters: Honesty, transparency and story-telling are not niceties in today’s marketplace. They are essential to success. Wherever you take your brand, it must ring with truth.

Success is found in marketing a brand, not just a product. De-commoditize your product by investing smartly in brand identity and packaging. This will do more to shape perception than any other single element.

Plan to Succeed

Start the process with future-scape planning: 

  • Assess your market, the competitors and the consumer.  
  • Understand, without question, what the key drivers to preference are. 
  • What are you selling and to whom?  
  • What do you really have and what do they really want?  
  • What matters to them? 

Plot your new brand positioning as well as the attributes of the perfect brand personality. Documenting these things will make the subjective decisions that need to be made later in the process much easier. It also will help you ‘sell’ your idea to management.

brand personality graphic

Name Development

Words conjure images. When naming companies and brands, mine words and word sequences that project the right attitude, personality and have meaning that tie to a consumer need. We look for strength and simplicity. Choose words that connect with the right ideas. Even the shape and length of the word matters—it must be easy to read, say and remember. Alliteration matters.

For example, names we’ve given brands include:

Unison – For a nonprofit that builds communities, a name that is kind and powerful.

Fortress For a food processing plant that is food safety focused, a name that projects security.

ICON – For a cookware product forged from Iron and Carbon using Oxygen and Nitrogen, a name that projects strength and durability.

Harbor Yards – For a waterfront development in the historic harbor district, a name that projects nautical location and expansive substance.

Logo / Wordmark

We can manipulate the shape of the names in many ways. Fonts have amazing powers of personality. Their weight and shape, how they are kerned, all caps or initial caps – all project strong imagery. Color and iconography also tell amazing stories. Experiment with many variations until a combination that is telling and memorable in all the right ways is found.

The logos that STIR develops each project a unique personality:

Brand - Asenzya Logo

Projects freshness and modernity for a food product.

the north end logo brand

Projects the location of a major urban residential development where industry once stood.

Brand - Meister Cheese Logo

Captures the quality and heritage of a 4th generation Wisconsin cheese maker.


The package is a canvas that can hold your brand’s name, logo and more. Don’t forget the package must compete head-to-head in the busiest environment there is—a retail shelf. Simplicity is key and less is more. Try to say too much and you’ll say nothing. What feels tasteful in a competitive vacuum often becomes invisible at retail. Prioritize the elements on the packaging, and stagger their impact. Your brand’s packaging tells a story that must have a beginning, a middle and an end. Take into account the logical progression for the eye and mind to consume. If everything is equal, the story is a disconnected mess.

Our award-winning packaging work:

For an artisan cheese brand from an artistic enclave (Door County, WI), the packaging sells the source of the milk and that it is hand made.

columbian cookware package design

Strength and innovation is depicted to assure the professional culinary community that this is a premium product and premium new brand.

A Farmstead is a place where they milk cows and make cheese – all inside an hour. Capturing the cleanliness and quality of that operation requires finess.

Nelson Paintballs : Paintball Package Brand Design

The paintball enthusiast is living out a paramilitary fantasy. This package gives them everything they hope for, while staying true to the brand.

Finding polished and creative ways to illustrate to the customer what really matters to them adds a level of credibility to the brand. It gains consumers’ attention, which leads to purchase and trial.

Problem solved.

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