The Two Components of Company Soul

A company’s soul is established through two key ingredients: its people and its brand. With The Buddy Group’s rebrand last week, its President and Co-Founder looks at how the company’s soul has been transformed.


At The Buddy Group, we finally feel whole. A piece of us was missing. Or, better said, a piece of us was slightly off. That piece: our brand.

We could feel it. While we had all the right people, with the right attitude and skills, we felt like fighter pilots flying blimps — sure, we were still in the air, but moving less aggressively and with less precision than we knew we could.

Marketers know the importance of brand to consumers, but can often forget brand is just as important internally within the company. Only when the right people get aligned with the right brand does a company’s true soul find alignment.

That’s when things truly start to sing.

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – Pablo Picasso

The brand is a company’s clothes. The people are its body.

Try to put a skater in a suit. Or, a granola in tight dress shoes or a preppy in birkenstocks. It changes who they are. It constrains their soul. Not only ARE books judged by their cover, but the cover changes the book’s meaning.

The same is true within a company. The entire culture and people can be aligned, but they won’t be supercharged without alignment of the brand. The soul of the company will feel off. When the soul of a company is off, you often lose the childlike sense of wonder that generates amazing breakthroughs.

It’s the difference between great and exceptional.

“Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

The Buddy Group knew we did great work. But we were ready to be exceptional — every single day.

We also knew our people were ready and able. So, we turned to the brand. But a brand is no small thing. In the end, our essence stayed the same (believers in collaboration; focus on storytelling and content marketing; commitment to staying authentic) as did our company name. Everything else changed. EVERYTHING.

The following are the key components we found most critical in re-establishing our brand:

  • Declaration: This is our mission statement meets Ten Commandments meets Jerry Maguire moment. It’s the call-to-arms that establishes the baseline of who we are and what we represent. It’s the rallying point. And, it can be found on our Team page.
  • Logo and tagline: Following lock-down of the Declaration, we moved to the logo and tagline. The Declaration gave us guidance on the right attitude for the logo and tag. The logo and tag takes that guidance and condenses it into one highly potent extract. I truly love our new tagline, Be The Exception.
  • Business Cards: Yes, we are a digitally focused agency, but business cards came before website. Because with the cards we continued to operate within space and size constraints, much like with the logo and tag. That constraint mandates focus and precision.
  • Website: Having locked in the foundation through the Declaration and then honing the brand through the logo, tag and cards, we finally found ourselves at our website. This is where space constraints opened up. But, the goal here is not to get loose with the brand. Rather, to take the opportunity to layer in details embodying the brand.

    Of course, along with all that came the color palette, fonts, collateral, people’s titles and additions unique to The Buddy Group, like the team’s avatars and “call signs.” But the four elements above were the executional driving forces that provided practical means for us to lock down everything else.

    “We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence.”
    ― Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

    Now the brand continues to live and breath through the content we create. Every presentation. Every social media post. Every blog we write.

    And, yet, everything becomes a little easier once the company soul is aligned. When the people and the brand find alignment, the soul sings. Work becomes easier. Output becomes faster. Darwin’s “struggle for existence” becomes a lot more fun.

    Especially when you’ve challenged yourself to Be The Exception.

    by The Buddy Group

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