Nuts & Bolts - Book Club: Playing Hooky With Your Brand
As a whole, marketers are often too cooped-up with their brands, juggling best practices and customer data, all the while trying to come up with something "fresh." Rarely does this tactic work well.
According to Andrea Syverson, that's not the best way to grow a brand. Instead, marketers should roll up their sleeves and play—leave the office and get out and about with their brands. Syverson knows what she's talking about; as the president of IER Partners, she works regularly with clients and their brands, helping them find what's new and now, and most importantly, what's authentic. Luckily for marketers of brands both big and small, she has distilled her branding wisdom into a book: "BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants."
The idea for a "BrandAbout" stems from the Australian Aborigines' walkabouts, where one goes to find himself. Syverson explains, "I've called my process a BrandAbout because it involves looking up and out and around. It is a 'business walkabout' of sorts, a pause in the daily and weekly hubub ..."
The book is bursting with examples from companies such as Ford, BelGioioso, MasterCard, Home Depot, Coach, Charles Schwab and more, not to forget the 48-plus creative branding exercises that get a special callout on the book's cover. Using the exercises, Syverson assigns her readers "brand homework," encouraging them to think differently and take action.
"BrandAbout" is like having a one-on-one consultation with Syverson. She encourages marketers who are responsible for their companies' brands to play and be passionate—not your typical business- speak, which is refreshing.
A final instruction Syverson gives to her readers: "Please don't let this be a book that sits on your shelf. Read it, yes. But use it. Share it with your team. Dog ear the pages. Act on the exercises. Develop your own."