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GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | Seattle

GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | New York

The Design Associates | Tokyo

Singularity, Attentionality, Intentionality | Strategies in Brand Development

Resonance, Relevance, Relationships — the three indices of connection and community

Brands have to matter to be unforgettable.

Given the flooding of exposures, those that are strong will require extraordinary staying power. But more importantly, to the nature of memory, the idea of impact will need to make two groupings of presumptions. These series relate not only to the notion of brand in the context of building and strategic pronouncements, but as well in the communities that they serve — internally, the builders, externally, the users.

I have a story to tell.
There is someone to listen.

That’s foundational reflectivity — there’s a story, and it can be reflected back. It is a drop in the proverbial well of experience and contact; and it moves out — like a rippling.

Sometime back a friend offered an update on The Singularity. While I grasp the strategic future visioning of Vernor Vinge, the so-called inventor of the concept of Singularity, who notes that “we are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. The precise cause of this change is the imminent creation by technology of entities with greater than human intelligence. There are several means by which science may achieve this breakthrough (and this is another reason for having confidence that the event will occur)…From the human point of view this change will be a throwing away of all the previous rules, perhaps in the blink of an eye, an exponential runaway beyond any hope of control. Developments that before were thought might only happen in “a million years” (if ever) will likely happen in the next century.” There’s more to the positioning that you explore with Kurzweil, historical overviews and expansions on the idea of Moore’s laws of acceleration.

What we think of singularity is more to the original intentionality of the value — to brand, it’s a singular value or proposition of meaningful and relative exchange that allows a brand to survive. Marty Neumeier calls this the “onliness” — the state of singular relativity from maker, to brand, to story, to community.

To our thinking — supporting the positioning of the singularity of brand positioning and offerings — that idea of a single purpose character might be tough to manage. Big brands have many layers. So there might be an onliness strategy that starts at the top, then filters into varying areas — divisions.

Singularity, Intentionality, Attentionality

The idea of this string goes to two layers of character — one, the opening reflection of the single purpose: singularity. What, to the root of the singular?

Two, the tension of intention — what’s the point of your brand, your story, the offering, getting to it? What is the intention that your brand offers, and who cares? Know these, the enterprise thrives — struggle, and it will be a challenge of direction. “Where are we going and what’s the point of it?” What, to the root of intention? Think of intention as a stretching towards something. But that idea of intention reaches to the ancient Latin tracery, intendere “turn one’s attention, strain,” literally, “to stretch out, extend,” from in-“toward” + tendere “to stretch.” There’s more, to follow — literally. Brand linkage is because that’s where the heart of the matter rests: follow?

But then to the next tiering of attentionality — what is the focus of the brand, and what is the degree of connection for a relationship? The notation of attention is a phrasing that is fraught with layered meaning — the concept of the attention of a user. We’ve referenced Stone, her studies of technological attentionality — devices, how to “pay attention” to them. And there’s a reference, earlier, to the spirit of Marc Jacobs — his personal ideas on attention (attracting attention, to him). Brand says — “pay attention to me.” Audience says — “pay attention to me.” Thinking of attention — the sync to intention speaks to the principle of being: the tenet. The metaphor of the tenet is a beautiful thing — this principle that lies at the center is the ancient word for weaving. Tenet — the thread, the sinew, the lasting tightening that is “loom” reaches to the causal quality of stretching and holding.

Wrapping, the nature of this triad has one other completion to the geometry of strategy and connection — the array of the brand nexus, the organic and crystalline meaning of its dimensionality — at least to how we see it.

Everything is hard and clear — business fast and operationally engineered. But everything is soft and human and linked to emotional characteristics of how humans relate. We need to hold both of them true to heart. And in that poetry, whether mathematical or no, it is about the spirit of these closing, organic models — the other half of the ringing, circling triad.

Find relevance, find resonance, find relationship. The metaphor, if you can hold that visualization in mind, is another rippling in the threading of that spiral, rolling outwards, circling inwardly.

A brand is nothing
if there is no relating — the relevance.
A brand is nothing
if there isn’t cohesion in a soulful resound — resonance.
A brand is nothing
if there isn’t the relating, the carrying forward — of relationship.

Think poetry, when you think brand; think deeper than the operational imperative; think soul, when you think of the fire of the brand.

tim | 42nd Street | Manhattan

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