Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on August 3, 2015

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Brand Unity vs. Uniformity with Josh Miles

josh miles

“Great brands demonstrate unity not uniformity.” Branding is a tricky topic. It’s both an art and a science. It’s about consistency yet not being so consistent that your story suffers. It’s this narrow space that Josh Miles navigates every day. As principal of the Indianapolis-based firm MilesHerndon, he works with organizations of all sizes to build better brands. I couldn’t wait to get wonky with a fellow brand builder on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast. 

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Josh Miles

Josh Miles is a caffeine and Twitter addict, and principal of the newly formed Indianapolis-based branding firm, MilesHerndon. His role consists of leading brand strategy, business development, and firm-wide marketing.

Josh Miles speaks from coast to coast on branding, digital marketing, and social media, and is a past TEDx presenter. Josh was named as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Indianapolis Business Journal, Delta Sigma Phi, and a 2015 ENR Midwest Top 20 Under 40. Josh is the author of the Content Marketing Institute book, Bold Brand. He serves on the board of directors for the Oasis Network, an international church planting and resourcing organization, and is the National Speaker Series chair for AAF Indianapolis. Josh is also involved in several other start-up tech companies based in Indianapolis.

Prior to forming MilesHerndon, Josh ran Miles Design for nearly 13 years before deciding to join forces with another firm called Redwall. Josh has also served as an art director and as an adjunct faculty for IUPUI, Herron School of Art and Design, and the Art Institute of Indianapolis. Josh is a long-time member of AIGA (the professional association for design), serving three years as the Indianapolis chapter president.

Josh is currently involved in SMPS, Verge, and Rainmakers. His unique point of view on branding, design, and marketing has been sought after by organizations, corporations, and university design programs for keynote, guest lecture, and training exercises.

Episode Highlights

“Branding and rebranding have to be about more than visuals.” Josh and I opened the show by commiserating about the stereotype that branding is simply a fancy synonym for logo design. That said, Josh noted that visuals are key as they represent “signals” that tell us that something is new or has changed.

To sing from the same branding hymnal, we have to make sure we have a hymnal. When it comes to style guides and the like, Josh stressed the importance of both visuals and voice. “It has to look and sound like it’s coming from the same brand.”

Unity vs. uniformity. “Uniformity is the exact same thing” over and over again while unity offers “many points.” When you see a Target ad, you know it’s a Target before you see the bullseye.

How is branding different for professional service firms? “It’s a different animal. It all comes down to what you’re selling. With professional services you are selling the expertise of the firm.”

What brand has made Josh smile recently? “(Furniture and decor company) Dot and Bo. My wife and I just finished building our third house. They do a fabulous job of collecting styles but they’ve also created stories around them.”

To learn more about Josh, check out MilesHerndon or follow him on Twitter.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our listeners …
Recently our friend Mark Greenlaw gave us a shout on Twitter about our recent episode focused on brand storytelling featuring Park Howell. Thanks for listening Mark!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!




Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands online. He also teaches at the University of Iowa and is host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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