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  • Keith Wells

"I wanted to be a signpost, but..."

Lots of brands end up in the same place. Their owners lack the courage (or the insight? Or both?) to stand for something, or to truly innovate. They'd rather jump on a bandwagon than drive it. Reminds me of a few of our politicians, but hey...

Why, though? A business's brand is its most valuable commercial asset: some realise that, in all senses of the word, but many do not. The ones who do are those who are determined to make their brand stand for something, and against something. Because they understand 'strategy' they're prepared to say 'No'. And when they say 'Yes' they mean it: in every decision, every action and at every point anybody touches the brand. When they say they have values, they live by them.

And they don't take the safe, predictable route to brand strategy. Could they define themselves in a single verb? Probably. Could they articulate their point of difference as a point of superiority? Certainly. Would they see purpose as a marketing opportunity? Absolutely not - it's more fundamental than that.

But many brand owners seem too timid to do any of this properly. Or maybe they're badly advised. Whatever the reason, they're not going to see the real value of what they have in their hands. And now is not the time to be simply one of the crowd.

As Bob Dylan says, you don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.

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