February 17, 2011 —
It’s interesting as we grow our business that ultimately the relationship we have with our clients/future clients centres around way more than just our ability to contribute to their business and make a profit. Life is short.
We want to work with people/brands that are trusting, stable, challengers, open, nice and most importantly “get it” from the top. I began this thought on “People before the Brand”. Not all brands have to tick all boxes but the more the merrier.
As the step-change in marketing and communications continues to polarise opinion the challenge for us is to work with brands who have or are willing to start from a different place.
Everyday in the trade press we read about brands pitching out their creative business with much aplomb and the allure of BIG dollars. In most cases it’s deemed to be ‘time for a change’ in the eternal quest for that next big idea to stoke the fires of short term gratification. In nearly all cases the quest is useless. The opportunity to prosper lies much closer to home than brands might recognise. It lies with the brand itself.
In a nutshell a fortress-brand can be summed up as one where “There is a lack of a willingness to engage stakeholders (such as customers or employees), unless it is on the terms of the organisation or toward their benefit.”
Conversely a wedge-brand “Rather than focus on protection of the brand and control of the message (and information flow) it creates a sharp, focused point through radically different business practices. Instead of manipulation, it pro-actively practices business in a more transparent fashion.”
This brings me back to creative pitches and the role of traditional creative agencies. If their solutions are ultimately no more than skin deep then at what point will brands begin to wean themselves off “creative brand-packaging” and get the fundamentals right at home.
So calling all wedge-shaped brands or those that would like more wedge in their lives. If you truly want to shift your brand from the short term win to the longer term sustainable competitive advantage then start from a different place. Let’s have some fun.