Branding: Thinkering and Tinkering
Sometimes companies can spend way too much time dithering. You know how it goes; you've been there: Lots of corporate nods to and fro in meetings spent jockeying for departmental positions, followed up by numerous CC'd emails where the actions agreed upon in the meetings end up diluted or vetoed by rounds of inaction before they're forgotten or trampled over by the next day's crisis.
Instead of wasting a company's precious resources—time, energy and enthusiasm—dithering, I encourage clients to put that energy into "thinkering" and tinkering with this simple exercise from my BrandAbout process.
Play With Two Powerful Letter Combos: 'RE'
"Thinkering" and tinkering does takes time—"stop and think" time! Both words contain two of the same lowly 1-point Scrabble letters as are in "dither"—"E" and "R"—but thinkering and tinkering are much more productive. Tinkering requires hands-on action and involvement. Why not have your brand team play with those two letters as a prefix or suffix and create as many word possibilities as you can imagine? I've provided a few examples (in the box on the right) to get you started.
Next, write your team's top 12 favorite "RE" and "ER" words on separate index cards. Pass out one card per team member and have each one develop three ways your brand could "recalibrate" an aspect of itself or become "simpler" in some way that is truly meaningful to your customers. Now, take some "thinking" time to mull over your tinkering and see what happens. And then find out which brand leaders want to sign up for spearheading some of these key initiatives. Spend no time dithering, just get busy doing!
Real-World 'RE' and
Here are a few examples of companies that have used this BrandAbout exercise to take these two little letters seriously:
Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of creative branding and merchandising consultancy IER Partners. For 20+ years, Andrea’s joy has been inspiring clients with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She’s the author of two books about brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants and ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators. You may reach her at email@example.com.