Warning. Rant ahead.
Enough is enough. It’s time for lazy, rubbish meta association so-called brand processes employed by way too many people to be consigned to the scrap heap of fluff and nonsense.
You know the ones. If your “brand” was a car what kind of car would it be?” If your “brand” was a person who would they be? If you “brand” was an animal what kind would it be. And on. And on.
As if some blinding insight lives in the answers to those questions.
Unless you are a car maker. A shape shifter looking for a new form. Or have the ability to literally become someone else. I really, really don’t care (and neither should you).
To all those marketing / brand practitioners out there using this kind of process. Please just stop it and ASK BETTER QUESTIONS.
Ask questions that matter.
Ask questions that have some chance of helping people understand how to connect what they care about with other people who care about it.
Ask questions that help the organisation connect what they say with what they do.
Ask questions that help them figure out what promises they are making.
To all those organisations out there being subjected to this kind of time wasting processes. Demand better questions.
Or go find someone to work with who understands that my liking a BMW has nothing more to do with anything than I like the way they handle around corners.
Don’t let yourself be distracted by yet another bright shiny object. Your organisation is too important for that. Too important to you, to those who work for you and hopefully to your customers and other stakeholders. You deserve a better question than “what kind of car would you be…”
Here are some others you could try.
What do you care about?
What do you believe?
What do you do?
How do you do it?
Why do you do it?
Why should anyone else care?
No they aren’t sexy. And answering them probably won’t give you the chance to laugh at the guy in the room who secretly wants a mini or thinks that lamas are cool (which of course they are).
But if you answer them honestly and really dig into what you mean by the words you use, not assuming you all think the same thing, then you’re sure to walk away greater clarity about you or your organisation. And that IS something you can use that will result in your brand.
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Michel Hogan is an independent thinker and adviser on organisational identity, dedicated to helping you make promises you can keep and keep the promises you make — with a strong, resilient organisation and brand as the result.