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10 posts from June 2014

A Brand is Maintained by its Behavior and its Ability to Learn

Branding is mistakenly seen as image building. Branding is actually an outcome of the way a company behaves. If all the employees understand the values which drive the brand, they will know how to behave in any circumstance. Tq140613ed

Your customers expect your brand to learn, adapt and evolve over time. That's why your processes have to be flexible and frequently updated. So when you create a belief system, you have to include how your brand learns and how that learning is used.

Warc: 'Belief Systems' Guide Brands, 2014-May-16, interview with Shaun Nichols, vp/integrated content marketing at Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Having a "belief system" can thus prepare brands for the loss of control that comes with engaging consumers on digital platforms where two-way conversation is the norm, she argued.

"What we realised is that our role is not to lose sight of what our brand belief is, but … to conform with what our brand behaviours are."

Understanding how a brand should behave, alongside the main principles underpinning its communications, therefore lets marketers make progress at both the mass-market level and with smaller, more targeted, groups.

"For years we've all been saying we want to be out there in those niches players, we want to be doing that, but we didn't quite know what the message should be," Nichols said.

Catching sight of patterns that control us

One of the most important steps in innovation is seeing the patterns that confine us. Tq140609edThat's why it's so important to listen to people who question conventional wisdom and the status quo. They may not be right but they are most probably signalling some previously unnoticed pattern. 

The New Yorker: The Woman Who Coined the Term White Privilege, 2014-May-13, interview of Peggy McIntosh by Joshua Rothman

In order to understand the way privilege works, you have to be able to see patterns and systems in social life, but you also have to care about individual experiences. I think one’s own individual experience is sacred. Testifying to it is very important—but so is seeing that it is set within a framework outside of one’s personal experience that is much bigger, and has repetitive statistical patterns in it.

Is that the challenge—or the usefulness—of the idea of privilege, as you see it? That it asks you to combine an individual view of life with an abstract one?

When Tal Fortgang was told, “Check your privilege”—which is a flip, get-with-it kind of statement—it infuriated him, because he didn’t want to see himself systematically. But what I believe is that everybody has a combination of unearned advantage and unearned disadvantage in life. Whiteness is just one of the many variables that one can look at, starting with, for example, one’s place in the birth order, or your body type, or your athletic abilities, or your relationship to written and spoken words, or your parents’ places of origin, or your parents’ relationship to education and to English, or what is projected onto your religious or ethnic background. We’re all put ahead and behind by the circumstances of our birth. We all have a combination of both. And it changes minute by minute, depending on where we are, who we’re seeing, or what we’re required to do.

Learn how to drive your own brain

No two brains are alike, but the principles of operations are becoming well known. Tq140606ddWhen I get a new computer or an unfamiliar applications, I usually try to operate it a few days without looking at the manual. Then I sit down with the manual and really dig in. I learn about functions I never knew existed. Is there some function of your brain that isn't being used?

Farnam Street: 12 Things We Know About How the Brain Works, 2013-Mar-20 by Shane Parrish

Babies are the model of how we learn—not by passive reaction to the environment but by active testing through observation, hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion. Babies methodically do experiments on objects, for example, to see what they will do.