June 2014: ‘Made of More’
The Sapeurs in this picture embody a dignity and fighting spirit that can overcome poverty and adversity. By dressing in bright, elegant clothes they transform themselves and temporarily lift the spirits of a community in the Congo. As the Guinness ad proclaims, these men really are ‘made of more’.
Yesterday I was captivated by a talk given by directors of Diageo and Milward Brown about how to create a brand. We watched numerous Guinness ads and heard more about the communities they depict and the tenacity of the human spirit these ads capture. The most important lesson I learned about branding was this: find your motivation, your reason d’etre, and capture it in a simple phrase. Once you have done this you can build everything around it. We saw another great example of this in the Snickers campaign ‘Your’re not you when you’re hungry’. They play on the fact that people change when they are hungry; for example a macho sportsman turns into a diva played, by Joan Collins, when he is in need of a snack.
Like many important lessons it’s so simple that it’s easy to overlook. I have been working hard to ensure that our website, apps, facebook and other elements are all consistent. We are careful to match colours, include our hexagon and so on. What I have not done is to settle on one key phrase that captures the spirit of our work. Since I left that talk yesterday afternoon my thoughts have been spinning around this question: ‘What short phrase sums up what we do and why we do it?’
- ‘Never give up’
- ‘Change is always possible’
- ‘You can make a difference’
- ‘There is always hope’
- ‘You are not alone’
When I look at this list and the thousands of other options that keep popping in and out of my thoughts I know that I havn’t found it yet; that one phrase that expresses our work and our aspirations. How can three or four words capture our desire to support families who are facing life after a devastating illness or diagnosis, our commitment to help people rehabilitate at home, our work to find and explain cutting edge medical treatments, our efforts to support care givers, our desire to foster understanding of life changing conditions and the list goes on.
I have a lot more thinking to do to before I find that perfect phrase. I have always believed that there is an answer to every question; it is my challenge to find that solution.