Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Charlie Stephan

When we build brands at Swanson Russell, we don’t invent them from scratch based on what we think looks or sounds cool. We find what’s already true and say it in a way people can’t ignore.

Creating an identity out of thin air leaves you with a brand that’s just that: thin. The best brands reflect an existing truth about the company, and do it in a way that the audience pays attention to and believes.

To start, we discover what your company really means to people. Customers, employees, partners and even the general public. Who do you think you are? Who do they think you are? That’s what you stand for and what role your audience would say you play in their lives. We look beyond the actual product or service you provide to find what problem your business solves. Your camping tent isn’t a place to sleep outdoors, it’s a way for people to immerse themselves in an outdoor experience. Your fly trap doesn’t just catch flies, it keeps the kitchen a clean, safe place for the family. Your customer service folks aren’t just nice, they’re a reassuring voice for frustrated people.

Those kinds of truths are the foundation on which we build a brand. And if they’re not right, then the colors we pick, the words we use, and the logo we design don’t much matter. Identities have to start with substance. Audiences crave authenticity from brands and when they find it, they form a meaningful and lasting relationship. When we build a brand at Swanson Russell, that’s what we’re after. We call it Real Connection™.

To do it, we dive deep into research and mine insights that other people don’t find based on our decades of experience in the industries we serve and a tried-and-true process. One of the things we always find? The truth about who your brand is. We don’t invent it. We reveal it.

This isn’t the only thing we’ve learned as a branding agency. In fact, we compiled more insights like this in our Branding Guide, which you can download for free. And if you want to put our expertise, strategy and insights to work for your brand, reach out. We’d love to talk.

Real Connection in Action

What does it look like when we unearth the right insight for a brand? Take a look.   

Cabela’s CLUB

Helping hunters and anglers unlock more of the outdoors.


Proving that golf carts are for so much more than golf.

Nebraska State Fair

Making a Nebraska institution relevant to more of Nebraska.