"Ask If You're Crazy Enough..."
There's a cynicism we tend to have when it comes to advertising and branding.
So many brands adopt personas based on their desire to attract a certain type of consumer. These personas are fashioned on the basis of deep consumer research, canvassing their likes, dislikes, tastes, preferences and more. Some of these personas succeed, others don't.
The ones that endure, are the ones that are based on core values, unflinching in their stance and consistent across the years. They represent the underlying beliefs that define the company and the brand. Beliefs that are integral to the consumer that is being served but that are also representative of the corporate culture that is serving this consumer.
Yes, thats right. Companies and brands can have underlying values, beyond profit alone. I know we have a hard time believing that, and thats because we're so often disappointed (now apathetic?) by how some of them behave, so much so that we become cynical.
Of course, the ultimate goal is to sell more. Thats the point of business - otherwise, they'd be charities. But the great ones have figured out that long term success comes from building something that is greater than yourself. That utilizes the product to tap into something intangible within ourselves, something that resonates within us.
The great ones clearly articulate their core values. And then they're steadfast. They stand for something greater than themselves. They reinforce, strengthen these ideals.
I dont find that inconsistent or incompatible with the profit motive. Not if you're truly thinking long term.
Yes, this can be controversial. The fact is that it will piss some people off. You will lose some people along the way, folks you wouldn't otherwise have lost.
But you'll also gain a horde of others who buy into your vision, who want to be aligned with your values, who will champion you despite whatever else happens.
And, if you aspire to greatness at any level, that's a risk worth taking. If you aspire to be something greater than simply another organization out to make an extra buck, an organization intent on simply whoring itself to the highest bidder.
That's the point. To create something bigger than yourself. To let go of the cynicism and be a little crazy.
Which is why, to paraphrase the brand of the moment, you aspire to be more than your product.
Which is why you don't settle.
Which is why, when the cynics say that's crazy, ask yourself if it's crazy enough.