In my business I have clients. And many people would agree the first order of business in a service industry is to make the client happy – make them comfortable. When companies need brand strategy help, it’s typically because they’re experiencing some chaos in their marketing. So, to a degree, they are already uncomfortable. The question is, is it my job to make them comfortable? Well, yes. Certainly. But only comfortable in their decisions about the brand plan. Comfort resides in the decisions they make that will improve business.

But getting to those decisions can be discomforting. And that, too, is my job.

I’ve written a number of times in this blog how some of my brand claims contain a single word clients find awkward. They approve of the strategy but the mention of one word unsettles them. It’s like if you have a big nose, you don’t like to talk about noses. My response to these clients is “we don’t have to use the word” – my claims are not taglines – “but we do have to follow the idea.” With that explanation, I almost always get agreement. “Leave it to the agency to deliver the word.”

Sometimes I wonder if my job it to make clients comfortable to uncomfortable. I am not in the gladhanding business, I’m in the improving business business. And you can’t do that without breaking a few eggs.

So long as you are honest. So long as you are truthful. So long as you are being true to the product and the consumer, a little discomfort is healthy.