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That bothersome WHY

by Anil Constantine, Brand Blogger

In my previous post on the Brand Dilemma, I had mentioned I would post the long answer on how to manage short and long-term expectations of your Brand owner / employer. For that, I believe you really have to ask yourself this one question WHY

You have to ask yourself that question so many times till you are absolutely convinced. Only then will the Brand begin to truly flourish under your guidance. So here goes:

  1. Be convinced about WHY your Brand exists. Why is the first and biggest question to really answer before anything else. You can’t and must not avoid this at any cost (unless you have something better to move on to) Anyway, to arrive at the truth you might have to grill your client rigorously till you get the real truth out. You have to research. Ask honest questions. Ask people outside the organization. Study old documents. Keep at it till you are convinced that this is a Brand worth sacrificing a part of your life for. A note to young Brand enthusiasts: Never over-step boundaries. And always be aware of context. Respect before anything else. Especially if you’re a Brand Manager in the Gulf Cooperation Council where you’ll find a lot of big hitters.

  2. Convince your client WHY the Brand exists. Believe it or not, many clients need to hear this verbalized before they become believers themselves. Otherwise, it could be just some superfluous venture that is being undertaken with a calculated risk. Or worse!… A vanity project! You wouldn’t want to risk a good part of your life to working on a vanity project that could be shut down on a whim. The good side about this part is the client also begins to see your real value in/to the organization and will you as such. S/he appreciates your belief in the Brand and can rest comfortably knowing it’s in safe hands. Once you have the main man on your side, life gets easier (at least to a certain extent)

  3. Convince the client’s generals WHY the Brand exists. This is the minefield. The client’s key influencers could be family members, partners, colleagues or other executives. And all of them will see you as a threat to their position in the client’s hierarchy. And why do they see you as a threat? Because they haven’t brought anything worthwhile to the table in a long time to build the Brand’s personality. Or they have a fixed idea of what the Brand should be and are closed to anything different, even if it is better. They’re either like conniving step-mothers who are biding their time or over-bearing mothers who project their personalities on their children, so that you become all they could not. They know you can bring profound and objective value to the table and they will try to embarrass you at every available opportunity. They would do everything possible to not look like bums. But this is where your individual leadership skills come in handy as you massage their egos and assure them of your loyalty. Have I inadvertently made life more difficult for Brand Managers than it already is?

Nobody said it would be easy. Once you’re past these three steps, you’re halfway there. Halfway.

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The name is Anil Constantine and I enjoy building Brands. I really do. The very fact that I can take inanimate ideas, products and services, and bring them to life in the minds of people I might never even meet, or even visit the countries they live in, gives me great joy. A surreal sense of achievement.

I have discovered the scientific-art of Branding is uniform universally. And the challenges faced by Brand Managers / Owners are consequently uniform, universally. So I’ve decided to share from my 30+ years hands-on experience in building Brands to help in any little way I can.

On another note, if you think I’ll be a worthy Brand Advisor / Consultant / Manager / Creative Director / Copywriter on your Brand, or just want to vent ;-) I’d actually love to hear from you at ahthatbrandguy@gmail.com

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