May 1, 2015
Dare Mighty Things is the spirit at the heart of our agency. That’s because we think stretching your ambition is fundamental to success at three levels in brand building and communication:
1. The objectives you set yourselves
In “Built To Last“, by Collins and Porras, they talk about the importance of purpose and defining your business’ “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” (BHAG) as fundamental drivers of business success.
Ford Motors set out to build a car for the great multitude, where everybody will be able to afford one. John F Kennedy wanted the US to be the first nation to land man on the moon and return him safely to earth before the 60s decade was out.
We too like the idea of the BHAG. All of our work is built around putting big scary objectives into our briefs, such as Team Sky’s desire to inspire 1 million new cyclists; or our work with Team GB to make all the whole team (the athletes and beyond) feel like the greatest British sports team ever; and for Healthspan to create communications that make getting older aspirational.
2. The way you define your brand
Collins and Porras talk about the importance of defining your vision to delivering business success, largely by focusing your efforts and motivating people. Simon Sinek in “Start With Why” talks about the importance of defining your ‘Why’ – your reason for being – when marketing to consumers. James Kerr in “Legacy”, talks about purpose-led, values-driven story telling as fundamental to success in competitive sports and business leadership.
We too believe that defining a transformational role for your brand is core to success. For anyone to welcome a brand into their life, it needs to be conceived to fundamentally change their life for the better. We think your brand and communications needs to springboard from this, so we put role at the heart of all our brand strategies and frameworks.
The world’s greatest brands have all had a transformative role at the heart of their business. Apple liberates people’s creative soul through the power of simple, intuitive technology. Nike “inspire and enable the athlete* in everybody (*if you have a body you are an athlete)”. The London 2012 bid was all about their role “to inspire the children of today to be the Olympians of the future”. Facebook strive “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”. Twitter sees itself as “the pulse of the internet”.
The best brands we’ve worked on (past and present) are also built around a transformative role: Travel Republic see themselves as a revolutionary, making it possible for more people to have the holiday of their dreams, on their terms. John Smiths want to be a safe haven for no nonsense blokes in a world of nonsense. HSBC aim “to harness and enable people’s differences”. Rapha celebrate the glory and suffering of road cycling.
3. The type of marketing you create
Finally, at an executional level, it means that no matter what the budget is or how difficult the challenge, you should strive to create ideas that people want in their lives, ideas that they’d be prepared to pay for and ideas that they’d want to share and be part of.
This is the only way to take full advantage of the digital, socially-networked world we live in.
So that means that you need not to just think of the originality of the idea and its intrinsic value to inspire, entertain or inform, but also the nature of the idea. How easy and fun is it to interact with, play with or share and what is the wider ecosystem of activity it is part of that gives it traction and amplification? Some people call these platform ideas and an evolution of integrated communications.
The bottom line is ambition is at the heart of all of this. The objectives you set yourself, the role you define for your brand and the type of work you create.