Right or Left Brain? You Need Both to Build a Brand

October 27, 2018

Oftentimes, when reading about the strengths and weaknesses of an individual, a discussion point ends up popping up around our “right-brain” or “left-brain” tendencies. This theory revolves around what is known as “brain dominance,” meaning that an individual has a natural preference for processing information on one side of their noggin.  Obviously although the real division of labor is much more complex than simply being characterized by one side of your brain or the other, we do all tend to lean towards one more regularly.  If you wrote down ten professional tasks you prefer to do versus ten professional tasks you prefer not to do, that exercise would more than likely weigh more heavily in one direction over another.

The right side of one’s brain is considered the intuitive or spontaneous side, while the left side is commonly referred to as the logical one. Knowing your own individual brain dominance can help you understand your way of thinking, behaving, speaking, and functioning.

Right-brain characteristics include creativity, the ability to see patterns, spatial awareness, and the understanding of how things relate to one another in different contexts. You may find that individuals with this brain dominance are good at recognizing faces, places, and objects. These individuals seem to have a knack for  “out-of-the-box” thinking or are known for their very strong visual aesthetic. 

Left-brain characteristics include a gift for language, analytical skills, and mathematical concepts. Individuals with this brain dominance are good with letters, numbers, and words.

So what does this all have to do with branding?

Well, it means that the many variables that go into creating and maintaining a brand require BOTH left and right brain tasks.  It is why the re-tool® team is very keen on a collaborative process with our clients and ourselves.  It gets the job done beyond just a checking off boxes.  It allows us to all speak to our strengths and yet incorporate feedback that arrives from varying perspectives.

Our approach for building a brand from scratch or rebranding a weary one requires a whole host of to-dos.

The heady “up front” stuff like generating business and marketing plans, walking through and landing on brand positioning, mission and value prop, crafting a SWOT, and weeding through competitive analyses are all items that require extensive time, effort and research.  Our left brain peeps say “bring it on” and those are the rock stars on our team that spend days “heads down” etching out the foundation for a brand from which all things moving forward are built around.

The visual and creative components of a brand like naming, compiling a mood board, designing a logo, storyboarding a photo shoot, or architecting a website is all scope that necessitates an eye for formulating consistent attention to detail, color, voice, and vibe.  Our right brain team get all excited about a proverbial empty canvas and they cannot wait to brainstorm about boundless ways to project originality.  Their imaginations wander into overdrive and that drives them to land on a brand’s “it” factor.

Working alongside one another, our lefties and our righties, while educating our clients on “why” we follow the process that we do helps ensure that we think organically and connect the dots with any brand elements. We revel in producing those “a-ha” moments. 

So are you more a leftie?  Objective, rational, analytical, logical?  Or are you more a righty?  Curious, intuitive, creative and visual?  We all have our superpowers. Just be sure if you are (or are thinking about) brand or rebrand work, that you recognize that many facets of the branding wheel need to be cohesively working together to propel a brand into success mode. Surround yourself with individuals on your own team (or hire a third party) that lean both left and right (brain not political) to ensure that all of your gaps are covered. You want your brand to fire on all its cylinders.