How does branding really happen (2)

Why creative pitching adds to the phoneyness of branding.
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Well its taken me a while to get to part 2 of this. But then I suppose part of my point here is that not much in life unfolds neatly according to a plan. This series of posts may end with this one or it may continue. I don’t know.

Anyway I wanted to pick on another daft aspect of the advertising/branding business: the pitch. Typically, the troubled brand briefs four or five agencies to solve their problem. Those five sweat buckets to create a perfect answer. There is huge pressure to frame the problem as one for which a Big Idea is the solution.

Of course, that flies in the face of the point that life is complex, emergent and unpredictable. And instead of opening a debate, the agencies and client buy into a simplistic notion that some creative masterstroke will transform the brand.

The end result is the sort of trivial nonsense we find in most commercial breaks. That has little to do with reality.

And the idea of a brand developing as a journey, in which a myriad of interactions with customers gradually shape the organisation… well that idea doesn’t really fit with the pitch mentality. (Brand as Journey is a metaphor which my good friend Stanley Moss first came up with)

So a bunch of folks get hyped up over a big idea, instead of savouring the challenge of attending to all the little ways in which a brand creates value or meaning for stakeholders…

(I wrote more on pitching here.)

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