August 26, 2006

Just An Old Sweet Song

It was Ray Charles who sang about what it was that kept Georgia on his mind (an old sweet song, as it happened).

Came upon a cautionary tale from US branding agency Whisper which suggests that some people don't know when they've got it made: Out Of My Mind

Seems that a couple of agencies charged with rebranding Georgia replaced the timeless Georgia On My Mind with the inane Put Your Dreams In Motion. The world is already littered with similarly innocuous taglines.

Beware an agency that is mostly out to make a name for itself and feels obliged to uproot whatever was there before (no matter how valuable) and replace it with something else simply so that they have something to show for their efforts.

Technorati Tags: Georgia, Destination Branding, Whisper

August 20, 2006

Much Ado About Nothing?

Am just back from a family holiday in Seignosse in the southwest of France and am reminded of an old school-teacher's sarcastic take on my daydreaming: "Sometimes I just sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits."

I find it relatively easy to switch off but it's funny how difficult it is to take a holiday and do nothing at all - most days I just relaxed and read thrillers but a little voice occasionally urged me to see significance even in my idling. It's a blessing for commercial brand-builders, of course, but nowadays, it seems to me that it's impossible to do nothing. Somewhere, a bank or a tour operator is labelling that nothing as 'Paradise!' or 'The Great Escape' or something of the sort. Even where we choose to do that nothing - at home in the back garden or in Seignosse or on a deserted island - insists on saying something about who we are, what our values are etc.

It probably wasn't helped by my reading the utterly absorbing Pope's Children by David McWilliams, which traces the trends and behaviours of the Irish through the Celtic Tiger explosion and beyond (and proposes that we all fall into membership of one tribe or another through our impulses and responses to the changes around us).

My own holiday experience suggests that choosing to say or do nothing doesn't enable us to opt out. What is it the songwriter said in another context: 'We say it better, when we say nothing at all"?

Technorati Tag: David McWilliams, The Pope's Children

August 04, 2006

Twinkle, twinkle...

I’ve been scanning the blurb on some books I’m planning to bring with me on holiday. Much of it is offered up by business leaders who profess to have been inspired by the writer in some extraordinary way. Very impressive stuff. Until I check out which companies these leaders head up and see amongst them some very uninspiring companies. “Inspired you how, exactly?”

Which suggests to me that as brand-owners we need to be very careful about who we invite to bear witness on our behalf. Glowing reports from big names are all very well but if those names add only a dull or tarnished sheen to our shining examples, then we’re better off letting our work speak for itself.