Thursday, June 5, 2014

Confetti. And branding.

Often when I get an assignment, the first thing I notice is that those working on the assignment or on the brand forget that they know more about the brand than 99.999% of ordinary people. So in concepting work, or presenting work, they often make leaps that make things all the more confusing to the viewer.

I'm beginning to think we as an industry have forgotten the original intention of what a brand should be.

A brand is supposed to bring clarity and order into the universe or the supermarket aisle. If you think about the derivation of the use of the work, I'd suppose it comes from the marks farmers would put on the cattle to identify which were theirs.

So, you take 500 bovine owned by 50 different cowboys. A brand allowed you to say, "that's mine."

A brand served to focus the viewer around a certain entity with a certain set of values.

I think focus is becoming undone due to the proliferation of media channels and integrated marketing communication's attempt to optimize each of those channels. All of a sudden, when your ad is festooned on a baseball stadium ticket booth, or on the turnstile at the subway, the consumer is confused.

More often than not it seems we are being beamed blandishments completely out of relevant context. What's more, because each of these venues contains a slightly different brand message what we get is a mess of messaging, not clarity.

The goal, I think, of a brand should be to focus the consumer as to the promise it makes. It shouldn't be making promises out of context and it shouldn't alter the promise merely to optimize a channel it shouldn't be in in the first place.

I think in our multi-channel world, brands have become like confetti.

We need focus.

Not dispersion.

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