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If I were a brand - and I’m not - I’d feel like I’d been stuck in the starting blocks for months.

It would have annoyed the hell out of me watching brands from other categories making hay while the sun shines.

But at least I’m still in the game.

I have data coming out my ears on how people are behaving in these coronary times. I can also see what my competitors are doing, although who knows what they’re really up to.

How my customers feel, the definitely’s and the maybe’s, that’s a bit less clear. Are they still thinking about me when they buy? What are they thinking about me? If only I could find some budget for my own research.

Then I could see if that insight of mine is still on the money. On my day I know I can meet a range of needs, but there’s always been one that’s mattered most. Where’s that Map when you need it?

I’m not without my assets. People hear my name, they see my logo, that colour and shape and they know it’s me. I’m available. You know, maybe that identity could be stronger.

Of course, it’s not all about distinctiveness. I may not be unique but I’m me. Play that brand party game or drop in to my brand world and my personality comes shining through.

And my values. The substance to the style. Otherwise, why would anyone trust me to deliver what I’m promising?

So there has to be a reason to believe. Those key messages that get built in somewhere.

Then it comes to the crunch. What’s the benefit, the main one? What do people get? How do they feel? Is it still what it was? Or is it now something else?

Only then will I know if my essence is going to hold true. The root of the connection. Purpose, if you prefer. Either way, what I stand for, more than anything else, more than anyone else. My position.

That is, if that damn gun ever fires. If the everything’s OK with the kids going back to school. If all the Covidiots wise up. If that vaccine comes riding over the horizon to save the day.

Still, plenty to do in the meantime. Time to get set.

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