March 30th, 2011
There are so many companies with so many brands that it is hard to believe there is much “new” out there. Do you ever get over whelmed by finding ways or trying to be inventive and original?
Finding ways to help relevant, authentic brands tell a unique story is rarely overwhelming, in fact it is energizing and inspiring. Organizations with energy, curiosity, courage and chutzpah that are willing to take on the challenges of driving their brand forward are a joy to work with.
That isn’t to say there aren’t obstacles. The most common, and most difficult, challenge is in establishing a brand’s positioning. It’s thorny ubiquity stems from two realities.
The first reality is that very few organizations truly understand differentiation. They are so ensconced in their day to day world, that they cannot lift their eyes up to see what makes them special. They typically don’t want to do the hard work of excavating that which makes them different… the essence of their brand. And, even after doing the hard work, they often have a hard time embracing their differentiation, because the results are rarely what they anticipated and most often are significantly different from anyone elses in the market. Which they should be.
The second reality compounds the first. The vast majority of organizations, despite their vociferous claims of wanting to stand out, be different and unique, in the end just want to do the same old thing. They want to do and say what everyone else says and does. Unfortunately for them, imitation has never been a form of flattery; it’s always been boring and it’s really overdone. You cannot fake brand relevance, it’s not cheap or easy; it can’t be copied or bought. It is hard earned and hard won.
It is in that hard work, the excavation and research, missteps and do-overs, thoughtful days and restless nights that the obstacles are overcome… and a brand emerges. In the end the challenge isn’t a shortage of creativity; it is invigorating everyone to set their creativity, innovation, and ultimately their brand, free.