O’s and O’s


I’m obviously way too close to it, but when I think of my own brand, Closer to Brands, I see O’s. Big fat ones.


There are bold circles all through my presentations. Even the bullet points. And time and again it’s been the inspiration for this blog’s images.


As Mark Ritson would say, I’ve codified the flip out of it. Or something like that.


The original idea came from the ‘o’ in the logo, which was meant to suggest a magnifying glass. Not sure if anyone ever got that.


In fact, for years the ‘O’ sat there unloved, a meaninglessly distinctive asset.


Then at the start of this year I saw it for the first time as a circle within a circle.


That made me think of a super-simple brand model. ‘How you stand out’ on the outside, ‘what you stand for’ on the inside. Both equally important and interdependent.


The blog image was good. Light outer circle with a bit of moody shading, dark solid inner circle


I rolled that idea on to a consumer model. Again, two concentric circles, but this time ‘what they do’ on the outside, and ‘why they do it’ on the inside.


This time, we went for a dark solid outer circle and a lighter moodily shaded inner circle. The point being you need to dig through the behaviour to get to the insight.


A bit like you have to dig through the surface of a brand to get to its meaning.


Now some argue that’s a waste of time. Bob Hoffman wrote recently: “I believe the most probable driver of brand success is familiarity. Not brand meaning.”


Mind you, Seth Godin in his book, ‘This Is Marketing’, counters: “Once you know what you stand for, the rest gets a lot easier.”


They both have a point. It’s layer upon layer.


But now I’ve had another idea.


Take the consumer model, with its dark outside and light inside. What they do and why they do it.


Imagine it floating around, like we all do, in category space and time.


And into its proximity comes the brand model with its light outside and dark inside. How it stands out and what it stands for.


Attention is drawn to the light.


Connection is made with the dark.


And there’s a fit. It’s a moment of closeness, just a moment. But long enough for people to make their choice.


You know, I think I might have finally worked out what my brand stands for.

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by RICHARD BROWN

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