Thursday, November 27, 2014

The tortoise and the hare

The other day, we were hanging out around the water cooler, shooting the breeze and talking about branding, like we like to do, and the conversation turned to metaphors for branding, another thing we like to do, and someone from the typing pool piped up and said that they thought that branding was like Aesop's fables, a seemingly endless trove of tales, each one designed to illustrate a particular point.

They added that good branding is the tale that tells the truth of individual goods or services and that whereas Aesop's fables each have their individual moral (the tortoise and the hare, for example), each brand has their individual deep brand truth. Or brand essence, or brand DNA. Or whatever you call it.

Well, we were liking this simile a lot when our chief, cook, and bottle washer (not to mention head of the typing pool), took it even further. (Background: Recently we had lost a pitch to a local logo mill and when fearless leader asked the once-prospective client if the logo mill was going to be doing any branding for her, she replied: "Oh, yes! They're going to make the logo and the letterhead and the website ALL have the SAME look!!" This did NOT make him happy, highlighting, as it did, his evident failure to make the client understand what branding actually is.) ANYWAY . . . he took the metaphor a little further and noted that if the moral of the Aesop's fable is the "brand essence" and the way the tale is told is the "brand personality", then perhaps the title of the tale is the name of the product and the illustrations are the symbolic equivalent of the logo. Each of them individually (and all of them collectively) reinforce the story, but none of them, on their own, is the whole story. Much less, the moral of the story.

Here below is a title of a story and an illustration illustrating that story. Pretend for a second that you don't already know the tale of the tortoise and the hare and ask yourself: from the title and an illustration (a logo and a look), how much of the story do you really get?




For us, the answer is clear: not enough. From just these two elements, you simply don't get enough information to truly understand the richness of the story that's behind them, and the moral of the story? Completely lost. And THAT'S the moral of THIS story!

Here at Woodstock Organic Concepts, we identify and leverage unique brand stories to help brands succeed in their competitive environments. A name, a URL, a logo and a letterhead are all part of it, as is a unified look and feel that extends to all media and expressions of the brand. But it's the gestalt of it all that can really help clients win the race. And that's where we come in, the tellers of tales and painters of pictures in the interest of our clients' success.

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And now, for your viewing pleasure, take a gander at how Walt Disney told the whole story and painted the whole picture in 1934: "The tortoise and the hare" Animated. Disney. 1934.



If you want even more, check out our story "What is branding? (Or: the lazy KY)"