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One MORE time

The plan was to take a break from blogging.

You know, holiday, Ashes, World Cup, sunshine. A juicy research project to fit in.

Then I had an idea. I’ve written a lot of posts now. Some people have read them but most haven’t. And even if they did read them, they’re not going to remember.

How about some re-runs?

When I saw Bruce Springsteen in July he ended up with Born in the USA, Born To Run, Bobby Jean, Glory Days, Dancing In The Dark and Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.

All big, big songs. All taken from his two biggest albums.

And making the big points in the story - the superstar, the breakthrough, saying goodbye to your best friend, leaving the past behind, finding the spark, the band together.

I didn’t see him worrying about playing any of those songs for the thousandth time.

So what would I play as an encore?

It had to come back to my core beliefs about brands:

1. Brands have to make an emotional connection.

2. Brand choices are driven by people’s deeper needs.

3. All brands need a positioning.

4. Insights need tension.

5. Be noticed, be remembered.

Maybe I could pick out one post for each belief.

So here’s what I sent out (with the links):

1. ‘emotional’ ‘connection’ - because I still can’t think of a better way of describing it.

2. Swim in the DEEP end - because you won’t learn much about brands by just splashing around.

3. My POSITION - because I still don’t think distinctiveness and differentiation are separate concepts.

4. Insights NEED… - because insights have their needs, just like everyone else.

5. The WHOLE picture - because, in the end, defining a brand comes down to two things, how you stand out and what you stand for.

And we’re done.

Except Bruce did play one more song on July 6th, the hymnal I’ll See You In My Dreams. That had been the real story of the show. Coming to terms with finite lives. One last blast.

That’s the thing about beliefs. As Seth Godin said: “Belief is our tool to dance with a possible future, confront our fears and build community.”

Or Ted Lasso at the end of Season 2: “To believe in yourself. To believe in one another. Man, that’s fundamental to being alive.”

And then he tore up the ‘Believe’ sign. Although each player secretly took one of the pieces, so it could be rebuilt by the team at the end of Season 3.

Mind you, Springsteen didn’t play Jungleland. Or Racing In The Street.

You have to believe he’ll be back.


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