The Ecology of the Forest as an allegory
for community, audiences and customers.
We spend a lot of time studying people—watching them, listening to them and studying them in use contexts wrapped around brands. We look at how people use things, bring brands into their homes, use them on the road, how they share, where they put things? These interceptions and observations are represented in hundreds of hours of focus groups, brand presentation sessions, store interceptions and onsite consumer reviews—and these are carried out, live or virtually, all over the world.
Getting out there on the road, or online studies and investigations, meeting people, as we are looking at brand relationships, there are studies involving 100s of people. These crowds populate the circumference of both the brand teams as well as the audiences we’re studying. Metaphorically, there is a tree among the trees; allegorically, I find a forest, but am I close enough to the tree?
As you walk the forest, it might be the character of the forest—but what of the personalities of the individual trees. Roughly noted, in walking with some—“it’s a bunch of trees.”
But a forest survives, as well as an audience and community, in a tiering of relationships—for each has their own way of carrying away a brand, their story—and so too does the trees establish its relationship to the earth, the sunlight, the wind and rain in its own precise best-scenario for itself. And, as we now know, that trees would be linked to others, the mycelial storytelling and root-based relationships.
Out on the coast, amongst the Sitka, I was walking in a young forest of 90 years old. Walking in that forest, I was studying the trees, and recalling some influential poetic meditations on the nature of a forest as a collaborative self-feeding ecosystem.
Trees lay the raiment of place, and they are self-made in the optimization of the rightfully tree-engineered soils, moisture management conditions, sunlight searching and photosynthetic strategies and foliage-light-arrays, for them. They create their own space and they make their own place.
Rains arrive in rolling channels from the ocean, and the raindrops in the quietude [except for the far roar of the sea] of the forest [no raindrops reached the forest floor.]
The rain finds its way earthward in the trees channeling the bark, wet runnels — water slowly coursing the rough canyoning of the bark’s surface texture and saved in slowness, gradually seeps into the soil—the trunk makes it so—the long-line of its skyward stance, draws it down like a funnel.
Looking cloud-ward from the earthbound stance of the forest, you can see the sun—but what you might also note is the fulfillment of the shadowed world—trees create their own light-trapping interlacement—they reach out to hold all they can. To us below, it is darkened in mystery and lightless-ness.
I study—each tree has its own story to tell—how it will create its own misted transpiration—a breathing-through the community of its forest members, moisture and gaseous exchanges roiling in the quiet corridors of old green wisdom.
But the trees are different, and the forest is a community of relationships — and so too the telling of each story—hardwood and soft, deciduous and coniferous, newly sprung or decades old. They’re all trees, they’re all in the same grove, but they’re different.
In the walk of relationships, the circling of community, the circumspect study of people, teams, demographies and categories—to each, we know:
they are different.
In our experience, we gather and build committed communities of relationships—carriers of stories that they hold about the brand. It’s their brand, their story—they hold and carry it on to others. In the fluency of flowing storytelling, gathering them together, we can talk to them, work with them, and recognize their differences in the minutiae of how they tell the story of their lives, and the turning circle of their relationships to each other, and how, finally, they relate, they carry, the brand.
It’s a shining.
In the forest—a community, it’s a unified grove—gatherings of relationships, yet every tree, every person is different. You speak to them in their language
and they will speak back to you,
in their language.
Walking the forest,
I was thinking about
this sharing—this grove of trees,
and the differences of
And the people that I talk to—they’re a grove,
they are distinct individuals, yet they are part of a stand.
H U M A N I T Y.
There is Time.
There are Lessons.
And there is what could be Learned.
g e t f a s t e r
G I R V I N | N E W FAST WOWNESS
CREATING STRATEGIES, PRODUCTS,
IDEAS FOR CHANGE. http://goo.gl/4fXQyE