Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Brand Thoughts

"You can't manage change, you can only be ahead of it." - Peter Drucker

I'm personally fond of brand behaviors and sustainability, both in terms of the environment and relationships. Whether its colleagues, employees, customers, fans, or wife, sustaining relationships takes work. And no matter your audience, nuturing that relationship comes through transformative communication and thinking ahead.

Here are a few thoughts on how to think differently about your brand and the space it holds in the mind of those you wish to sustain communication with:
  • Be remindful of your values and true existense. Sometimes its not what's on the package, and hopefully its not. Starbucks is more about people than coffee. 
  • You can lead someone to water, but you can't make them drink. Have you shown a house buyer twenty houses only to have them stay put? Cooked your husband a three course meal only to have him say, 'It tastes a little dry.'? As Winston Churchill said, "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." You will not get them to buy everytime, but that loss will turn into wins down the road that you cannot see today.
  • Think about how you can do the campaign without advertising first. Think about your office being inside a railroad cab. Think different.
  • A few brand names with a generic trademark that describe their category: Rollerblade, Kleenex, Band-Aid, Dry Ice, Lego, Xerox. The world is desperate for new categories in sustainability, what are they?
  • Letters 'p' and 'b' are plosives, meaning they are followed by a burst of air when spoken. The biggest mistake a person or brand can make is to become content. What can you do to bring a burst of air to your brand or relationship?
  • Everyday you're either building your brand or tearing it down. Today, a client hires an agency for their charisma, thoughts, and trust, not past work. That is because consumers buy belief batons, the product itself is not enough. Communication must account for the environment and the behavior it effects.
  • Brands are about controlling perceptions. Expand around your core, don't leap frog. Brand confusion is detrimental.
  • Never look reactionary. Be prepared for potential crisis and how you would communicate. Problems grow, spray the weeds fast.
  • Are they a good match? I often see a guy with a girl out of his league. If two brands come together, the more powerful pulls the lower brand up, and vice versa. Be careful before dating as a favor.
  • Don't date celebrities. Unprecitable and brand should not be seen in the same sentence. Have you heard of Tiger Woods?
  • ENGAGEMENT! Ever heard, "Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I'll remember. Engage me and I'll believe."? It's true, my wife forgets things I tell her. Tap into multiple learning modalities and the more succes you'll find. Prentend like you have to sell ice to someone in Antartica, make them believe.
  • Branding is about taking something common and improving upon it in ways that make it more valuable and meaningful. Incremental can be instrumental.
  • Internal first! Happy wife, happy life. Happy employees, happy customers.
  • Be yourself. Be Brave.