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Emotive Brands: Built From The Bottom-Up But Designed From The Top-Down

Emotive branding is about taking everything you do today and making it more focused through a new emotional dimension.

This intent can only be realized when everyone working for the brand embraces the brand's Emotive Core.

The goal is to have everyone, from the bottom to the top, singing from the same song-sheet.

But creating a brand's Emotive Core - that is selecting the brand's four key emotions and crafting the brand's aspirational driving idea - isn't something that's best done by committee or being subjected to research.

Indeed, we believe it's best left for the "top-honcho" to be responsible the definition of brand's Emotive Core.

Yes, the top-honcho may bring in other key visionaries of the company to help in the process, but ultimately, success depends on the top-honcho declaring the brand's Emotive Core as a directional imperative.

Interestingly, while this approach speaks to strong levels of control, this is not the intent.

The intent is clarity of purpose.

As they say, "A camel is a horse designed by a committee".

The difference with emotive branding is that our need for control ends once things are decided.

We don't propose engaging the staff through dictatorial rules and mandates (as many branding initiatives are realized).

We don't suggest recruiting "Emotive Brand Police" to slap hands, create guilt and promote inaction.

Rather, our goal is to evolve the culture in a way that makes the intended change personally non-threatening, relevant, interesting and motivating.

And because we deal with aspirations and feelings and because we use simple, approachable language at every turn, we can believe we can more readily affect the cultural change that is needed.

Perhaps the most important step in this is de-emphasizing the scope, scale and urgency of the change we intend.

In 99% of the cases, the changes we ask people to make are incredibly subtle, non-threatening and nothing one human will feel awkward doing for another human.

It's as simple as that.

But, in many ways, as hard as that.

That's why it needs to start top-down and then work from the bottom-up.