Sometimes It’s Not What You Add To A Brand, But What You Take Out
We were reminded of the story of the sculptor who was asked how he managed to fashion a beautiful elephant out of a piece of granite.
He replied, “By chipping away all the pieces that didn’t look like an elephant”.
What elements of your brand strategy “don’t look (or feel) like your brand”?
Does your brand’s purpose look (and feel) right?
Your brand’s purpose, its reason for being or ambition is the key to the meaning you create (or fail to create) in this world.
If your brand’s only stated purpose is to make money, your brand must be missing a heart. If your brand’s only purpose is to make things “faster, bigger, cheaper, now”, your brand must be unconscious.
Chip away the outdated ideas you’re still carrying around and unveil a more beautiful business model. A model that has a strong, compelling reason for being that goes beyond profit and the superlatives that drove business in the industrial age. Reveal a new model which is focused on how your brand positively impacts on personal lives, social well-being and ecological preservation.
Do some of the attitudes operating within your brand’s workplace and trading space look (and feel) a bit dubious sometimes?
Your brand’s attitude, approach, self-concept is a driver of the meaning you do – or do not create.
Does your brand – and the people who work for it – have an overrated sense of superiority toward each other and the people your brand serves? Or has an acidic, hostile attitude corrupted your brand’s vital systems leaving the people it touches feeling tainted? Or is your brand’s attitude so passive that nobody feels a thing?
Chip away your brand’s current attitude and reveal a more “human” way of being within your brand’s workplace and wherever your brand trades.
Does the way your brand reaches out and touches the world always look (and feel) good?
Your brand’s behavior – and how it makes people feel – drives the memory of your brand.
If your brand’s behavior is neutral – the memory of the experience doesn’t stick. If there are elements of negativity in your brand’s experience, the memory is vulnerable and risky.
Chip away at the brand behaviors that add nothing – or simply add dissonance – to the way people experience your brand.
The beauty and power within
Brands are created by people, for people. Along the way, they become lost, confused and distracted about this basic idea.
But by looking carefully at your brand – through the eyes of the people it employs and serves – one starts to get back to the human desire to “do something good” that drives most brands.
Take away all the bits that don’t look (and feel) like your brand.
Remove all those distractions which are keeping your brand from having the meaningful presence it deserves.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.