Allegro 234 | Branding
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mar172014

About behaving straightforward and honest in branding

 

Ever since we have had a notion of the existence of brands (7000 BC in Mesopotamia), the aim has been and remains the same: to express singularities which consistently distinguish my offering of products and services. Back in ancient times experiences were 360°: with fewer people, who were more local, structured in time.

In all cases, though, the intention was to generate experiences that would have a unique meaning… This has not in any way changed. All that has happened is that it has become more complex.

Today, the key lies in thinking, saying and acting in an honest and straightforward (though by no means simple) manner, focusing on the balances between what I promise to the outside world and the values experienced within the system, between what happens in the offline and online worlds, remembering that what matters most are the ideas and not the tools that are used (today) to create, share and evolve them, aware that it is an effort which I must address to a dislocated tribe that has broken through the boundaries of space and time.

The path to the creation and construction of a relevant, unique and significant experience, which makes the brand a company's strategic platform, expressing its purpose and giving a framework to its ideas and actions, is a long one.

It is in all cases based on three major elements:

  • Conscience: Beyond responsibility, and remembering that responsibility is an obligation which is undertaken, while conscience is an inherent and original state of the company
  • Story-Building: This is about forging a narrative based on the reality and aspirations, and participation of the different audiences which make up the brand, beyond mere storytelling
  • Co-Creation: Getting my other audiences involved in the creation of ideas, processes, products and/or services. The tools are available, there is a certain demand, the results are notably greater than internal innovation processes

Whatever one may wish to call the experience, there are certain basic concepts to take into consideration:

  • Two fundamental elements:
    1. straightforward presentation of the experience, and
    2. honesty of thought, word and deed as regards the company
  • Three keynotes:
    1. corporate conscience,
    2. shared story-building and
    3. participatory and open co-creation processes
  • Four roots in reality:
    1. Although many people may be involved in what is a completely open process, it is the company which creates the intent and is in control;
    2. Even when a story is built, we must at all times remember that success is always enjoyed by those who are backed by great products and/or services;
    3. It is about values and the consistency with which the promise made by the company is built, and
    4. The right importance is given to the tools based on what they are, guaranteeing a balance between offline and online

Reader Comments (7)

I like this very much Cristian. Your 3 elements are thoughtfully and meaningfully progressive, from where most companies are right now. The main concern I would have, in hoping to implement this with a client, is the progression from responsibility to conscience. This would have to come, not only from a very strong leader, who can stand up against great resistance, but also from all the other stakeholders - employees, shareholders, investors, customers - who might be more interested in the bottom line, if conflict between monetary results and conscience were to arise.
I believe consumers - or members of the tribe - want a brand to have a conscience ..... yet, I am waiting to witness, in any great revolutionary way, the full support of those tribe members when it comes to "paying the price" for that state of mind and purpose.
The key I believe, will be for companies with a conscience to be able to effectively construct their story, and develop their products and services, to represent a total value that is recognized and desired by the tribe .... and ultimately paid for from their wallet ..
This is a huge departure in strategic thinking for most corporations, and I fear, would have to sweep through the whole supply chain to become the norm.
We will keep trying though. As they say "Rome was not built in a day" :))
Excellent post! Thank you .... Ed

03.19.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEd Holme

Could you supply more information about the statement about the "existence of brands (7000 BC in Mesopotamia)" please?

03.19.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Monger

Hi Brian!

Articles & books:
- Hecht, J. (2008): Were Mesopotamians the first brand addicts?, New Scientist
- Bevan, A. and Wengrow, D. -Editors (2010), : Cultures of Commodity Branding, Left Coast Press

Also, David Wengrow, an archaeologist at University College London, has suggested that branding products with images of macho men and curvy women first emerged in ancient Mesopotamia (The Economist Time, London 2008)...

And in August 2013, a great presentation done by Stanley Moss (CEO, The Medinge Group) talking about the origin of brands.

Hope this is useful!... Thanks for visiting our blog :)

03.20.2014 | Registered CommenterCristian Saracco

Hi Ed!

Thank you, thank you very much! :)

Rome wasn't built in a day, but was burned in a couple of hours (ask Neron :) )...

It's true what you say... there is tension between consciousness and results... Some days ago I was reading an article talking about the millennials (on the Time Magazine)... they've said something like... "Perhaps this narcissistic and lazy generation, with its behaviors, will save the world" :)

They are not paying to much attention to money (actually, they live with their parents till they are 50), results... They are looking for more creative but less secure and not always well-paid jobs. They talk about collaboration, common good, people-centered... For them, equate success with income level seems impoverishing, and the obsessive pursuit of monetary profit, sociopathy...

Something is changing... Hope to be still alive to see that change! :)

03.20.2014 | Registered CommenterCristian Saracco

Hi Cristian,

I've read similar reports on millennials. I just hope that their generation also learns about responsibility and personal accountability. It is the lazy and narcissistic traits that concern me .... I would prefer empathetic, selfless compassion and generosity any day :)

Undoubtedly though, change will continue to happen. Will I see it in my lifetime? ... maybe ... but probably only in the small world where I, with like minds, can have influence.

I believe there is still a generation right behind me (mid30's to 40's) who will unwaveringly try to milk the world for all they can. Just look at the social media moguls who are driving a zero sum game toward revenue and profit (which is demanded) at the expense of open organic reach and sharing. They will drive tribes to be more insular if they create fee paying checkpoints at every social crossroads.

Our Healing Horses is a prime example. Our reach is being stifled by algorithms, even to people who want to hear our message. And we cannot afford to pay to be heard, because our mission is not about money or profit - it is about selfless giving for the good of others. Hence, our tribe is shrinking, because they are being cut off from us - even though they want to be engaged.

So for now, money and it's pursuit, still makes the wheels turn ..... at least over here :))

If you ever get to our neck of the woods (literally - we've just moved to be with the horses) then please reach out to me and pay us a visit :)

03.20.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEd Holme

Yes!... I also prefer empathetic, selfless compassion and generosity people :)

Mid 30's, 40's... 50's to 60's... I agree with you... Certain people are maximizing today's returns (like there was no future)

Your Healing Horses is a great example of consciousness... Also, take a look at this (it's in Italian, however, the idea is undestandable:

http://youtu.be/zPh1DlCSZNc

If I go there... I'll pay... but the dinner is your duty :)

03.20.2014 | Registered CommenterCristian Saracco

Ha! Ha! I am more than willing .... :)

And I love the video! What a mission!

Cheers!

03.20.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEd Holme

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