Brands don't seem to be working all that well these days. There's something bigger going on. To try and figure it out, I've been thinking about branding at it's simplest, putting a brand on a cow.
Over the last couple of decades we've gotten really good at working with cows. We've worked on the design of the brand itself. We've worked on creating new colored cows, like purple. We've redesigned the cow, adding features. We've used advertising to get people's attention. We've found new places to show the cow to people. But, all of this doesn't seem to work as well anymore.
Maybe, it's not about the cow. Maybe, it's about the farm, instead. It's about the water. It's about the crops that are grown the fields that feed the cow. It's about how the stalls are taken care of. It's about the attitude of the framer realizing he's part of something bigger that he can't control. Heck, maybe it's even about the kind of massages and the kind of music cows experience.
A better farm certainly creates a better cow.
Maybe we've been focusing on the wrong thing. Instead of trying to design a better brand, one that gets noticed, maybe we we should think about focusing on the community around a product and a brand. How can we help people solve their problems? How can we help the community solve its problems? What positive things can we add to the community?
A lot of people seem to be thinking along the same lines. Recently, I've heard the words system and platform thrown around. Those don't seem right to me.
What are you thinking? How do brands go from being all about the cow to being more about the farm?