For the first time in over a century the Elwha River in Washington state is running free. Dammed up for reasons that made sense a long time ago, the gub-ment has decided to tear down those mud walls. And the salmon and others, with mud in their eyes, are starting to reclaim the river that made them flourish. So we found a work around for the original function of the dams and are making ecological and planetary progress by letting the natural order reestablish itself. In a few years, when we screw up, we’ll simply “stick a few stem cells on it” and all will be right – that’s not a good future.
Why talk about the Elwha? Because good brand planning is a bit like understanding the natural order. If a planner truly gets the organic flow of a product and service, then s/he havs a great foundation. Many planners, marketers, ad agency campaign makers don’t get that flow, they just get the flow of money. They manage the flow of money and mortgage the brand. This approach builds dams. And culverts. I believed Steve Jobs when he said he wants to market things consumers will need. You can buy the market, but that’s despotism and doesn’t create good brand will. Create product consumers will need, by understating the flow.
Brand planners need to get the natural order of their category and product before they attempt to benefit. Peace!