THE QUEST FOR SOUL, THE DEEP STATE OF BRANDS
When you’re working with brand teams, there is inherently a sense about the inner life of brands—what lies beneath, what lies within? When you think about a brand that you know, that you admire, what’s the attraction? In our experience, we find that the magnetism of brands is a tiered affair. First, as we all know, there is the compelling alignment to relevant utility—it’s a needful relationship. I need what this brand offers. But there is a second tier and that lies in resonance—“not only do I need this, but it feels right.” The deeper sensation is integrative, what’s within, what’s without, what’s above, what’s below? As in the alchemical allegory—“as things are below, so too are they above.”
As to this psychic premise—what’s resonantly correct, what feels right—this is a holistic impression, it lies in color, messaging, visualizations, audience alignments, meaningful positioning. The brand DNA is synchronous with a participant’s impressions and values, brand stance balances, the forward-moving stride will sequence with the movement of a person in their life.
“For where I am, and where I’m going, this is right.”
Which, in marketer’s parlance would be “on target.”
To filter out these impressions, the rightness of relationship and brand story telling, there is an archeological dig into the layering I was writing a piece, earlier today, on the concept of baring — that idea of revealing, versus the other similarly sounding expression of bearing — which is more like “carrying” something. To bare, to lay open, uncovered — and to bear, or to cart, carry, hold and embrace.
To do that work—which is to bare, which later will be to bear, leads one to a journey of nakedness—for if you’re going to know, you have to go deep—what lies beneath?
A brand strategist, a journeyer, has to lay it open—to refine and start again the pathway of renewal. Some say—to that exploration: “I can’t bare it?”
Or, really, “I can’t bear it.”
I can’t expose it—laid bare, for all to see?
Or actually, I can’t bear the carrying of this—a burden—any longer.
Either way, there is meaning. To excavate an archaeological site, it’s a cleansing of layers. The archaeologist peels back the tiers of the earth to find the city that once laid there—it is “what lies beneath.”
Being the seeker of metaphors, I am seeing a sign, out scouting for imagery—Portland, Oregon. I like to loo at alternate meanings for signage and words that mean something. A sign, for a shop that does, indeed, specialize in “bearings”—the hardened steel balls that fit in the rings of motioning objects to prevent heat, ware worn, and wear.
Writing, or digging-into the writing of things that impact your soles [walk a mile in mine,] soul [grin and bear it] or Sol [where it shines,] there might be a point to the nature of how you are bearing the challenges that you face.
What truths should be laid bare?
Or better still, how you are loving what you CAN bear? That is: the love that you’re feeling, you’re experiencing, it’s so wonderful that bearing it is an exhilaration! Then too, two, to the idea of the contrary wording—to bare, to lie in the simplistic power of love, and to lie bare in the sheer exposure of it.
I do that, finding the marvel in watching a lover bare the soul of message, emotion, the drawn calligraphy of passion, the scribbling gesture of love—in a fevered condition and enchantment. But there is a bearing in that experience as well.
You bare it—make it real.
And it will be borne by the world.
In anything, there is a bearing, a carrying—that passing along of the story that is held; and then, too—as that story passes, one might be bearing it along; it is being held, carried along—something beautiful, in the flowing of the wintering river, ice—the plates of the timely—as I watch it all go by.