Adonis Diaries

Success brand names tell mythic archetypical stories?

Posted on: February 7, 2012

Success brand names tell mythic archetypical stories?

Brian Collins, chief creative officer at Collins, said in an interview with Debbie Millman: “A great brand name must embody mythic archetype stories, stories that remind us of eternal truths to navigate through our lives, archetypes like “KING”, “MAGICIAN”, WARRIOR”…that need not that much explanation to project the picture and the message.

For example, the Apple with a bite taken out symbolizes the seductive-rebel Eve who tempted Adam to cross over to conscious thinking, like Apple ad of a woman throwing a sledgehammer at the screen showing Big Brother…

For example, yesterday I watched a bunch of kids playing a game of pick-up basketball, and the next day you have Nikes displaying its orange banner with the “swoosh symbol” spanning around the court.  Nike is the goddess of victory, and there is no doubt in my mind that the kids felt the meaning of that symbol and the participants are playing with more vigor, as if they are called upon to unfold their power for winning and achieving…”

We don’t experience the world through information, but through stories.  That’s why brands are meant to create belief systems.  Brand designers construct frameworks so we may better understand the world…

Designers should be “problem makers” because they are great with pattern-recognition skills and should seek companies with problems not explicitly known to them.  Designers are not necessarily brought in as “problem solvers”, but to observe the various latent problems within the community of the corporation…

Great brands continue to emotionally resonate from the grand parents to the children to the grand children, like with Disney. 

Brian Collins stretched the envelope a little too thin when he claimed that great brands, like Coca Cola help connect people around the world. How? A kid from Afghanistan drinking a Coca Cola can or bottle would connect with an US kid…I am wondering: How many kids in the US have the background knowledge that the successive US administrations landed over 100,000 Us troops to fight in Afghanistan, that the US drones are killing more civilians and kids than Taliban “fighters”?…Maybe it is the Afghani kid who is connecting and saying: “Are the kids in the US aware of what’s going on in Afghanistan…?”

Peter Drucker wrote: “Securities analysts believe that companies make money. Companies make shoes.” Does anyone believe that financial multinationals make shoes, or produce anything? All they are good at is shitting all over the place!

Collins says: “People are looking for more than the product: They want to know the company’s relationship to the local economy…” That would be fine for local companies, I think.  How many international corporations are laying a framework of letting local communities adhere to their message, if a plausible message is credible.

Note: Post inspired from a chapter in “Brand thinking and other noble pursuits” by Debbie Millman

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February 2012

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