“Form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.” – Frank Lloyd Wright.
It is true of design, architecture, and branding as well. Your brand is not a function of clever design. It is not a more clever way of saying the same thing others say. It is derived from truth. Your brand promise and what makes you different are joined in a spiritual union. They are one in the same, composed of different elements, and experienced through a different set of senses.
Your brand promise is just a more succinct articulation of what the audience already knows. But, boiling it down to something concrete allows you to manage the elements and sensory experiences that compose the audience’s perception.
But it is as much a tether as a guiding light. The brand promise does lead the way your company is presented, but it also is built in response to where it was already going. They are indeed spiritually united.