A world of absolutes is a tidy world, but narrow.
The wider world must make room for things that are not.
“Make room for things that are not.” I wrote about that last week, didn’t I?
We cling to absolutes, I think, because they give us the illusion of stability in a world of constant change.
We see rivers on maps, but in the strictest reality, you cannot step into the same river twice. The ripples, the creatures, the floating debris, even the shorelines change with each flickering moment.
I wrote to you in October of 2015 about The Color that Doesn’t Exist.
What we’re talking about today is like that, but different.
The people you meet and the moments you experience in advertising and movies and literature and art exist only in the mind. They are symbols of possible pasts and futures.
Symbols are the signposts of imagination.
When we think ahead to the possible outcomes of our efforts, we see realities that could happen, but these are never the river we step into when we get there.
We’re talking about companies and brands.
We are attracted to brands that believe in the things we believe in, brands that show us a reflection of ourselves.
Every successful brand has a personality. A strong brand is an entity that lives in the imagination, just as real and full of hope and promise as any character in a television show, novel, or movie.
Much of what we buy is purchased to remind ourselves –and announce to the world around us –who we are.
The idea of a brand is lot like the idea of home.
Bart Giamatti was the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, a Professor of Comparative Literature, and the President of Yale University. These are his thoughts about “home.”
“There is no great long poem about baseball. It may be that baseball is itself it’s own great long poem. This had occurred to me in the course of my wondering why home plate wasn’t called fourth base. And then it came to me: Why not? Meditate on the name, for a moment, ‘home.’ Home is an English word that is virtually impossible to translate into other tongues. No translation catches the associations, the mixture of memory and longing, the sense of security and autonomy and the accessibility and the aroma of inclusiveness, of freedom from wariness. They cling to the word ‘home’ and are absent from ‘house’ or even ‘my house.’ Home is a concept, not a place. It is a state of mind where self-definition starts. It is origins: the mix of time and place and smell and weather, wherein one first realizes one is an original. Perhaps like others, especially those one loves, but discreet, distinct, not to be copied. Home is where one first learned to be separate. And it remains in the mind as the place where reunion, if it were ever to occur, would happen… All literary romance, all romance epic, derives from the Odyssey and it’s about going home. It’s about rejoining – rejoining a beloved, rejoining a parent to child, rejoining a land to its rightful owner or rule. Romance is about putting things aright after some tragedy has put them asunder. It is about restoration of the right relations among things. And going home is where that restoration occurs because that’s where it matters most. Baseball is, of course, entirely about going home. It’s the only game you ever heard of where you want to get back to where you started; all the other games are territorial – you want to get his or her territory – not baseball. Baseball simply wants to get you from here back around to here.”
We remember home, not so much as a place, but as a state of mind.
Likewise, the power of a brand is a state of mind.
The creation of a good product is easy.
The delivery of a delightful service is difficult.
The telling of a good story; that’s where the money is.
Roy H. Williams
Art is valuable to the degree that it triggers emotions. But it isn’t always the art, itself, that drives the emotion; sometimes the art is merely a point-of-contact with an archetype with which we identify. The wizard identifies with the curious wise men who followed the star to Bethlehem and he identifies with ridiculous Don Quixote and he identifies with the unquestioning loyalty of dogs (like me.) With whom, or what, do you identify? Have you ever thought about it? Consider the art that attracts you. Consider the stories and movies that hold the greatest romance for you. Is there a common thread that binds them? Self-discovery can be fun sometimes. Aroo. – Indy Beagle
Renee Lopez says college athletics and Corporate America have more in common than most people realize. Renee recruited all-conference talent and turned around losing teams until she was finally recognized as the NCAA Soccer Coach of the Year. These days, Renee is coaching business teams, helping them recruit all-American workplace talent, and teaching them how to win against impossible odds. On this week’s edition of Monday Morning Radio, Renee tells roving reporter Rotbart exactly what it takes to win the victories that few people believe can ever be won. MondayMorningRadio.com