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The Signature of BAP Agency and How We Build Brands

Aug 23, 2023 | BAP Agency

Exploring Ideas, Sharing Insights

A piece of burning wood. A torch. A mark made by a hot iron on livestock. From its Old Norse origin, the word brand has always been connected to making a mark. It has signified ownership, identity, and uniqueness.1

A mark made with a stamp. One’s own name written in one’s own hand. From its Latin origin, the word signature has always been connected to a distinguishing mark. It literally means to make a mark that sets one apart from another.2

Throughout history people have found ways to mark things as their own. Take signet rings as an example. Often a family crest would be created in reverse in a metal ring, so the person wearing the ring could stamp in warm wax and leave their mark of authenticity. This creative combination of a brand and signature mark was often considered more authentic than an ink signature by itself.3 The seal represented the character, authority, and commitment of the person who owned the signet ring and made the seal.

Whether using iron tools and fire, signet rings and wax, or quill pens and parchment, people prior to the 1800s found ways to set themselves and their property apart, to make their mark, and to leave a signifying impact that only they could uniquely make. A brand classified one’s property. A signature uniquely represented one’s person. The mark made in a wax seal could represent both. Regardless of how the mark was made, it represented the authenticity of the holder of the brand.

An identifying signature or brand, one that represented the quality of a company’s goods or services, became increasingly more important for businesses as the world began to transform in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The increase in technology, the emphasis on efficiency, and the mass production of goods that came with the industrial revolution created extreme growth, but it also brought new challenges. Products increased; competition rose; and businesses searched for ways to help their products stand apart from the crowd. They needed a signature look or statement that signified a product that could only be identified by their brand. They needed an identifying mark that represented the superb quality of their product alone as opposed to the mass produced product of another.

During this transforming time in history, quill pens began to be replaced by fountain pens with metal nibs. Signifying marks like those previously made with signet rings became more common on products as a signifying brand. These brands began to transform into signature looks, key ideas, and specific messaging that helped bring about the introduction of the trademark.4 Some of the oldest and most iconic brands in the US were born during this key transformation: Baker’s Chocolate (1765), Colgate (1806), Pillsbury (1872), and Coca-Cola (1886) are just a few.5

A study of some of these now world-famous brands reveals that branding doesn’t happen overnight. Building a brand is like grabbing a quill pen or sitting in front of a typewriter and writing a story that unfolds over time. It often starts with “Once upon a time” I had a great business idea, and one always hopes it will eventually “Live happily ever after,” but many never outline the story that guides the way.

You may have already introduced the world to your business, or you may be looking for a great introduction. You may have a vision for your business that depicts a beautiful conclusion many years from now, or you may be looking for a way to build to a strong conclusion someday. The real question is do you know how to build out the detailed story structure that will guide your audience from an exciting introduction to a long-term love of your products and services? Have you composed a carefully crafted message which will help you reach the powerful vision you have for your business? If not, you need the storytellers extraordinaire, the branding and advertising professionals of BAP Agency.

At BAP Agency, we are a team of storytellers, creative people with varied skill sets to bring your story to life through brand development, creative marketing, digital marketing, strategic marketing, and advertising specialties. We have a team of graphic designers who are focused on visually telling your story. We have a team of writers who are committed to writing and editing and writing again until your story unfolds with clarity and connection. We have a team of developers and administrators who continually analyze data and look for ways to improve connection to your market. We don’t have branding irons, and we don’t wear signet rings, but we do have a collection of our favorite pens including a quill pen or two. On any given day you can find us with a favorite pen within reach and a keyboard and mouse at our fingertips working diligently to build the outline and flesh out the paragraphs of unique brand stories that only your product or service can tell. We are passionate about helping you Make Your Mark on the world.


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