Let's be honest. We all talk a good game, but when it comes to true belief (spending time to get better/be better) in regards to brand-driven directing, we would much rather bite off a smaller chunk of the cake than deal with the whole, messy brand thing. We just can't / won't wrap our heads around what I call the grey (opposite of black and white). If we can't kick it, poke it or throw it, we want no part of it.

When it comes to avoidance, like anything, it is usually due to lack of talent, lack of understanding or lack or energy. I'm talking about decisions like:

  • We should change the logo to grow awareness and gain attention.
  • We should change the color of our product to red because it's a high visibility color and will catch people's attention.
  • We should build a Facebook site because everyone else is doing it – and if everyone's doing it, it must be good!
  • We should use humor in our ads because they are more effective.

Granted, some of these things may be good and needed. But what I am suggesting is this: determine what to do in conjunction with its true brand merit. Not only will you hit the mark more often, you will cause less damage which you would have to undo somewhere down the road. Each scenario resulting in higher effectiveness.

As a true believer and practitioner, I want to tell (scream) at those who use the term "brand" without understanding or forethought. This includes both corporate (the client) as well as service (supposed brand developers). They are everywhere, lurking around every corner killing a perfectly good term along with a much-needed philosophy for success.

In order to help my kids deal with the grey, I tell them and teach them to 'Live on Purpose':

  • Think (stop living by the seat of your pants).
  • Discover and develop your purpose.
  • Do everything in your power to stay 'on purpose', on purpose.

Success for the majority of people in this world takes a great deal of effort. For those who are happy with mediocrity, ignore this post. (you probably already stopped reading it anyways).

Brian Klassen
Brian Klassen President

Brian has worked with many national and international advertising agencies spanning a number of market sectors, including agriculture, not-for-profits, associations, sports & entertainment, and finance.