An Unexpected Journey
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort”. This is the first sentence of the globally acknowledged fantasy novel – “the Hobbit” written by J. R. R. Tolkien and I’ll use it a lot, as a source of reference in this blog, to reflect and metaphorize various topics of the vast phenomena called branding.
The most vital thing to do for a newborn brand – is to tell the story about itself to the targeted audience. By doing this, in any chosen form of storytelling, the brand has to reveal its main distinctive features it possesses among its competitors. If it fails to do that, it fails to get acknowledged and immediately enters the grey zone with other swarming, boring, nameless creatures, like itself. By the way Tolkien describes the hobbit-hole, it becomes clear that it’s unlike any other apartment you’ve ever seen (the novelty aspect), yet it provides the comfort (the quality aspect). Once the peculiarity is set and clearly communicated to the audience – this is when we step onto the road, and begin our branding journey…
First of all, a brand isn’t something that is complete or ever will be. Even if your name is sitting at the mountain top, like Coca-Cola does, there still remains a demand to participate and respond to the world around you.
Branding is an evolving, ever changing process, which takes into account things that are under your control and things beyond it. You can decide its course, have the best fellowship to guide you, but you cannot predict the weather all the time.
A recent global pandemic, due its WHO given name – “corona” (after the Latin word for “crown”) has significantly reshaped the perception of globally known “Corona Beer” brand. And while there is a saying – there is no bad publicity, yet it requires creative effort to flip the marketing table and use the odds to one’s favor.
Unexpected things do not necessarily have to happen in an outer world, in order to influence a brand in deleterious ways. Sometimes, the whole journey can collapse from an inside. A single tweet, accidentally written from company’s account can cause some serious public reaction which can result in the loss of reputation, if poorly handled.
One simply cannot be prepared for everything and that is the part of the branding journey we must all accept. Expect the unexpected, be true to your virtues and follow your course. Remember, that wizard is always nearby, ready to give you a little nudge if needed.