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BRANDING’S PERFECT 10 – ACTION’S FOE

Bm - Chloe Schneider - 3th decembre 2021

Perfection is death. Reserved for gods, not mortals.

David Foster Wallace, a perfectionist, wrote a book featuring a movie called "Infinite Jest." As a perfect medium, it is so relaxing and responsive to all desires that it is impossible to turn it off. It completely absorbs the viewer's attention so that they sit there, sunk in their seat. They watch until they die. The lesson here seems to be that even if perfection were attainable, it could lull us into inaction.

Perfection is the enemy of action.

 

Action is vital

There are many clever abstractions in branding and hot air. Acting and applying ideas in the real world is so often where things fall apart. The brand needs a closer resemblance and connection to life.

 

The applied brand strategy is essential; actionable strategy designed to take shape in the world. What is important is not perfect brands and notions, but distinctive brands that make significant contributions to culture. A future in which all brands act and act specifically with a social and cultural conscience.

 

The climate crisis has taught us that if the status quo isn't working, if we don't like what the future holds, we can't sit back and wait for perfect, ideal solutions. Where we can begin to act with consideration and purpose, for the environmental and social good, do not delay. Think hard before you act, but don't overthink it. Don't worry about having to be a brand with all the perfect answers. Every active step counts.

 

Often the problem is about creating cultures, rather than being passive recipients of a future or system that someone else decided or designed. Pursue a radical or reformist agenda about why, how, and what you believe.

 

The process, how brands do things and live in the world, is just as important as the final result.

 

"Perfect" comes from the Latin for "completed." It is unrealistic and boring to think of brands as whole parts, not living and receptive parts of culture. It is too narrow to think only of a brand's final product or service, its final form in isolation.

 

What was unusual about a Rodin exhibition at Tate Modern this year was how few of Rodin's perfect marble sculptures of the human body were on display. Instead, room after room was filled with plaster casts, pencil marks, and the artist's experimental works. The exhibition firmly insisted that Rodin's brilliance also lies in the process of creation, in the ruptures, messy complexities and uncertainties.

 

 

"It's unrealistic and boring to think of brands as whole parts, not living and receptive parts of culture. It's too narrow to think only of a brand's final product or service, its final form in isolation."

Brands should not be divorced from their creation. They must be connected, accountable and transparent about how something is done, how materials are sourced, produced, and distributed. Brands must take an empowering and caring role in the communities they tap into and are made in. Norlha is a slow, sustainable, and ethical luxury fashion and homeware brand that sells items hand-woven from Yak wool by nomads-turned-artisans in Tibet. Rooted in the Ritoma community, the brand has organically led to the continuation and flourishing of craft and culture, giving people livelihoods, new futures, and a voice in a time of change.

 

The arts and crafts movement spoke of the joy found in the work of a craftsman. In The Stones of Venice, John Ruskin looked at the rough, vivid carvings on Venetian buildings and foresaw that ordinary workers would be left to their own imaginations. Whether his observation was correct or not, I believe that the more everyone involved in creating a brand can enjoy, pride and creative satisfaction in their work, the better.

 

The power of making something real and its impact cannot be underestimated. But it shouldn't be limited to brand managers, marketers and creative agencies. Improve, empower everyone involved. How a brand arrives, the people who make it, the community it feeds into, the creative and productive conversations, matter as much as the result.

 

There's also the question of what "perfect" brand you're trying to achieve.

 

Infinite growth must be dethroned as a goal.

This focus on good deeds and process and getting it right helps us shift priorities.

 

However, the "perfect" brand and strategy are almost invariably growth oriented. The electrifying Silicon Valley mentality of shooting into space. Does growth always have to be the goal, the pinnacle of success? The brand certainly seems to be addicted to the idea.

 

I can't help but think he misses the point. Growth at the expense of what? Endless growth is no longer viable. It is unsustainable. We must be willing to sacrifice profits for the cost of building better. It is crucial that more brands act on their philosophies and stop making empty environmental and social promises.

 

I am relieved that there are brands like Karma Cola that focus on people and the planet, on ethical behavior in the face of world domination. The brands mentioned in this article are relatively small, which allows them to maintain the integrity of their actions and be agile.

In short, be more human, not divine in the pursuit of perfection.

Take actions that do good in the real world, and don't be seduced by the dangers of omnipotence, omnipresence, and the divine glory of being perfect.

 

Image cobert: Rostislav Uzunov

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