Uncovering Your Brand’s Magic

The past month or so I have been spending a considerable amount of my time working on rebranding projects, and I tend not to like getting myself into projects (including parenting) without bringing along reinforcements – my e-books.

If you want to learn anything about marketing, turn to Seth Godin, if you want to find out more about building a meaningful brand and story turn to the lovely Bernadette Jiwa.

As she states in The Fortune Cookie Principle:

Every idea has two elements: the cookie and the fortune.
The cookie is the product & service. The fortune is the magic, the story, the real reason they buy the product in the first place. It’s your purpose. It’s also the customer’s story and world view reflected back at them.

Most marketers spend the majority of their time trying to sell the cookie, but what they really should be doing is to make a good fortune. Your true fortune is part of everything you do. It’s something you do organically when your business is aligned with your mission & values – i.e., kept promises, free returns, getting back to emails, clean tables, clean sheets, etc.

So what’s your fortune?

How are you telling your true story and representing your real values out into the marketplace?

For me, a brand’s ‘fortune’ is it’s true why and how behind its Value Proposition.

My years at Zappos taught me that the true fortune behind Zappos.com isn’t the fact that they have an endless selection of shoes, clothing makeup, etc. Their fortune is their commitment to exceptional customer service. It’s in their overnight shipping upgrades, free deliveries and free returns. It in their company culture that is all undoubtedly on the same page with their internal Core Values. It’s their dedication to hiring and firing based on their core values – with no exceptions.

As Bernadette points out in a few of her books, Starbucks didn’t reach its popularity for overpriced coffee drinks, they gathered a cult following by being the “third place”. There’s home, there’s the office, and then there’s Starbucks. Starbucks was designed to be more of a meeting spot between the home and the office, and less of a place to simply buy coffee.

Here’s a simple equation to remember: 

Product – Meaning = Commodity
Product + Meaning = Brand

What’s our fortune, you ask? Honestly, we’re still figuring it out. Sure, a part of our fortune is in our commitment to consistently creating exceptional web experiences. We aim to be the best in client communication and never settle for less than a “wow” when handing off a project to our clients. We are a great median between big agency and hiring an internal design team. We strive always to create something unique and different by really focusing on the best UI & UX practices to give our clients the absolute best possible outcome with their new site experience.

As a growing brand development and web design team I know that sometimes it’s easier for outsiders and your customers to pinpoint what your fortune is, and when they tell you, put it up on your refrigerator or somewhere in the office where it can be seen and remembered by everyone who works there. And you may have multiple fortunes, which is great! Jot them all down and voilà you’ve got yourself a working manual or internal core values to guide you on your path to success.

What do you think is your brand’s fortune? Comment below!

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Ignazio Lacitignola

Founder & Designer

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Ignazio Lacitignola

Founder & Designer

Meet Ignazio, affectionately known as “Igi” to friends and colleagues. An Italian designer, creative and entrepreneur who finds it a bit peculiar to refer to himself in the third person, but he’s willing to do so for the sake of this bio.

From his earliest memories, Ignazio’s mind has been a canvas of creativity, and his love for digital design ignited as soon as he could afford a computer and an internet connection that wasn’t the sluggish 56k dial-up.

Growing up in the less glamorous corners of Milan, Italy, Ignazio defied the odds, earning honors at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti without ever brushing shoulders with the law.

Following his heart’s call, he ventured across the Atlantic to San Francisco, USA, to immerse himself in the startup and User Experience world. It was here that he kickstarted his journey with Meno Design, a digital design studio dedicated to distilling complex digital experiences into their essence, while learning through experimentation.

In Ignazio’s eyes, every piece of design is a potential masterpiece, an artistic expression in its own right. His ongoing challenge is harmonizing his meticulous attention to detail, sometimes bordering on OCD, with the practical timely demands.

Beneath his approachable and calm exterior lies a delight of colorful Italian cursing that surface whenever he stumbles upon poor design choices—though it’s worth noting that he’s incredibly friendly, and a simple “ciao” is always welcomed.