The wave, the ripple, the droplet, the metaphor — exploring allegorical symbolism in brand and business strategy.

The idea of water is a metaphor that has consistency to the notion of exploring how people connect with each other: touch, connectedness, stories shared, ideas flow.

One droplet sets a ripple in motion that extends, flowing in rhythm outwardly — essentially forever. The poetry of the story — and to that in, in our framing, the brand — is one of setting a vibration in motion that echos in a circling expansion that touches everything in its path. Ideas vibrate. Ripple out.

One might say that the power of this fluency lies at the heart of the opening drop — a small pebble that continues to reflectively ripple, one on another, another, another — ringing and embracing the sound of physic force that moves in its own harmonic flow.

We think and draw ideas, oftentimes, in the visual cartography of concepts that build on rippling, in the Girvin BrandQuest® sessions that we create for client strategic and tactical workshops.

Circular patterning, radiant expansions…

Water, as a natural force, as an expression of elemental symbolism has profound depth in human poetic, scientific and contemplative experience. People have devoted their lives to the study of it. This water, to reference, is defined as the most significant resource on the planet. There are other mysteries to be examined in the science, mythology and mystery of water. Explore more as you will.

The idea of water is something that extends beyond the merely metaphorical. Working in Paris, I’d encountered the global French brand, Suez, exploring strategy and evolution in their positioning, message and foundational character. What I learned then, in gathering content to the extant business sensibilities was a intriguing perspective on water. That in fact, water is perhaps the most valuable element for their global planning — while founded on energy, the principle of “owning this resource” was a far greater commodity. Rather scary presumption, I’d add.

The positioning of a brand around a symbolic platform isn’t something new — in fact, there are plenty of principles of enterprise that extend further, having deeper concepts of management, but the allegory of water — as a driving force, a concept of fluency and flow, of rippling physical idea is intriguing, especially when you add to the measure based on the issues of it’s presence as a life-giving elements.

Allegories and symbolisms can be more conventional. I might suggest that TATA, by way of reference might be one concept of positioning — being driven by the concept of the gift, the tribute, gifting: a promise in giving back in the spirit of Ghandhi, the foundation of the brand is their sense of community as the heart of their existence — more here. Then, in keeping with a kind of spirituality, another legacy in another client, Trish May and her visioning of Athena, a water company that gives one hundred percent of her profits to finding a cure — the water, as a product, a brand — here links to the spirit of the Goddess, Athena, the Protectress. That brand speaks to wisdom and protection.

Fire. Air. Earth. You might consider the idea of these as brand allegories as far-fetched, or more so the idea of exploring these or other ideas, but layering brands to greater degrees of symbolism is interesting. But brands, are, of course, about humans.

The idea of water, the rippling, the echoic character — this has long been something that I’ve referenced in the strategy of our relationships, the roll out of the ideal, the expansiveness of approach in storytelling. One story tells another — and it ripples out. And becomes a wave…

Honestly, this exploration came as an inspiration — from a quick bridge from a friend. And it all came into a new focus.

Think of flow, rippling, in this way. A new look at water, just a couple of months back.

Some images, to define the poetic heart of this note, the single droplet — the metaphor of rippling.

There’s a science to business strategy, and so too, the character of brand strategy — but still, in the end, it’s about the reference of humanity. And the principles of the nature in which we live.

Poetry, the art, aligns them in balance.


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