In this section: Have Fun! The next episode ongoing series from a long-time agency insider. This series explores how to wrest the most out of every dollar and minute that you spend with an agency. Marketing, branding, digital, creative, PR, SEO; all agencies have their differences, but they all have their commonalities, too. This series addresses questions that our clients have asked over the years...and those they haven't thought to ask, too.HAVE FUN!
Branding, whether developing a new one, refining an existing one, or expanding the breadth of one, is hard work. Yet, it’s important to have as much fun as possible while you’re doing it as it is a creative process. It’s serious work not to be done too seriously.
It’s an adventure and the best brands are developed with that mindset. It’s equally important that you don’t do it too quickly. Just like a surgeon starting a complex operation, it’s not something that you want to hurry through, nor do you want it to be a drag for the whole of the 6-hour surgery you’re about to embark upon. Even the most serious B2B brands, like IBM or Oracle, have their lighter elements. Just look at their homepages, they have become much lighter and playful in prior years. They have to, because the visual (and written) elements of a brand need to communicate at an emotional level; they need to project the kind of emotional state you want your clients to experience when they work with you..
“But wait,” I can hear some of you saying, “our clients and prospects are much more rationalist who won’t like some kind of emotional play for their heartstrings.” This is actually a comment I hear a lot, especially in Silicon Valley and other places where there are a lot of engineering, finance, and business-types in the target audience. And it’s true; a lot of them consider themselves to be highly rational people not swayed by mere emotion.
Let me offer a little secret: they’re wrong. Research shows this. Daniel Kahneman, in his excellent book, Thinking Fast and Slow shows how there are two major parts of our brain: the old emotional reptilian fast part and the newer mammalian logical slow part. The truth is that it’s the fast emotional part of our brains that is responsible for making decisions; the rational slow part gives us the reasons why we make those decisions after the fact.
In fact, it is known in neuroscience that if you damage the amygdala—the center of the emotional part of our brain—one of the major effects of that damage is an inability to make decisions. (See Antonio R. Damasio, Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain).
Where that leaves us is that the parts of your brand that need to work quickly—the visual and very brief written parts—we need to communicate effectively and directly to the emotional part of the brain, and that communication is easier and more effective if there is an element of lightheartedness to it.
This is the fun part of business, where you get to sing your praises, so enjoy it! Let your passion and your enthusiasm shine through your brand and it will reach into the hearts of your audience, which will in turn give you access to their brains, where all of your brilliance can shine through. So, have fun when designing your brand! It’ll come through, just like when you smile on a phone call, the listener can tell. If you have fun designing your brand, your audience will be able to tell and the response to your brand will be much better.
I want the e-book now!