July 25, 2019
Who are you trying to fool?
Too often we treat branding with the excitement we afford to the arrival of a child in the family. The feeling is unlike any other, full of promise for what is to be and what that child is to become. The excitement persists as, with a deep sense of nurturing, we plan and envision what will be our legacy.
We do the same with a brand. We create a plan for what we want the brand to be and do, we determine how we want it to behave, we design its look, we give it a tone of voice, we launch it to the world with great aplomb and a promise that things will be different.
However, for reasons that still baffle me despite many years in this industry, as soon as the brand is launched, we forget the promises we made ourselves to help that child become the best version of herself, teach her how to speak, how to connect, how to behave, how to build relationships within the family and outside, how to prepare her to grow up in a world full of challenges and opportunities, how to make a real impact, however big or small.
Too many businesses launch their brand but end up only delivering an identity void of personality and charisma, void of the ability to mean something to its audiences so that they may want to build a relationship with it. These businesses, and there are many out there, focus on showing off their new clothes rather than what’s really behind them. But new clothes get dirty quickly enough, and eventually wear out, leaving nothing but a rough outer edge no one wants to befriend.
An undeveloped character is shallow, and shallowness means the conversation with any audience runs out very quickly, and you end up being the kid in the corner no one is really interested in speaking to.
With the novelty over, the game is over!