In Karen Post’s 2004 branding tome Brain Tattoos: Creating Unique Brands That Stick in Your Customers’ Minds, she asks, “Are you a brand warrior?” She challenges leaders to get into a mental zone where they are not afraid to make mistakes and go places. Post argues that big brands are managed and led by “fearless brand warriors” — who let their creativity flow freely.
Are you a brand warrior?
- Are you creative? People gravitate toward the lively. Branding is about being conspicuous. Here are some questions to ask yourself, according to Post:
- Is your brand’s name so generic that there are at least four similar-sounding names in your industry or a related industry?
- Are your promotional and communication materials boring? Are they similar to your competitor’s?
- Do you spend good money on bland brochures with too much copy?
- Name a product or service you have that is different than your competitor’s? If you can’t, we have a problem.
- Do your PR efforts consist solely of new-hire releases and saying “no comment” when the media calls?
- Does your trade show booth fold in a box and include a fishbowl for business cards? The author asks, “Is your business card about as exciting as a phone bill?”
- Could your ads serve as sleeping medication?
- Does your website look like a yellow pages ad?
- Are you fearless? “Branding is not for followers.”
- Do you have a clear vision? Big brands are simple brands.
- Are you a strategic thinker? Branding is not just a marketing thing. It is a part of every area of business operations, but you know this.
- Are you committed? Branding is not a quick fix. It is a sustained investment in time with huge payoffs.
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it is time to do a brand audit and start with you. Post argues that brand warriors are “creative geniuses,” and here is how you know that you are a creative genius:
- Geniuses look at problems differently.
- Geniuses make their thoughts visible.
- Geniuses are highly productive.
- Geniuses revel with good combinations, like a child building a Lego masterpiece.
- Geniuses force relationships.
- Geniuses think in opposites.
- Geniuses think metaphorically.
- Geniuses prepare themselves for possibility.
Applying these creative genius characteristics can open your creativity and, thus, your brand’s potential.
Behind every successful brand is a brand warrior. In closing, here is what you need to know to be that brand warrior:
- Brand warriors are creative. No one is into boring.
- Brand warriors are fearless.
- Brand warriors are flexible but can appreciate a clear view.
- Brand warriors embrace the prep time and invest in the up-front time.
If you are not quite a brand warrior nor have the time, Glint Advertising is your partner to inspire you and most importantly get you where you need to be to reinvigorate your brand.