- Mon, September 26 2011
- Filed under: Branding
Branding is changing, and it requires us to dig deeper.
That was the message Jelly Helm delivered at last week’s Communication Network conference. Jelly is principal of a communication arts studio in Portland and a former executive creative director of Wieden+Kennedy, where he was creative director for Google, Coke, Starbucks, Target and Nike, among other brands.
Helm, a self-described sensitive man - “Everything makes me want to cry or laugh” - said that authenticity is critical. He showed two of his own sketches. One was branding of yesteryear, symbolized by a box with a fake front featuring jazzy self-promotion—“new! improved! the best!”—in the style of old school advertising. The second was today’s branding, which he symbolized with an Apple store-esque box - clear and transparent.
“You can no longer stick messages on your organization and make people feel the way you want them to feel. That’s inherently manipulative and doesn’t work. Now a brand is like a clear box that can’t be over-narrated or over-mediated by the organization.”
So how do you navigate this new world? He urged organizations to ask themselves two questions.
1.) What is your deep story? This is your strategy. What is your vision? Purpose? The value you create? The roots you have?
2.) How is that deep story most powerfully expressed? This is where creativity comes in.
It reflects what I believe about branding. Branding is not what we say about ourselves - it’s about what others feel about us. It’s not something we can impress upon others. The more we authentically and honestly tell and live our own story, the more likely we can evoke the positive feelings in others that are the heart of a strong brand.