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8.6.06

Brand mystique: a tribute to Colin Morley 

Eleven months ago, my colleague and fellow Medinge Group member was murdered by at the tube station in London.
   When Colin passed, people posted memorials at the bethechange.org.uk web site, including .
   Colin and I had limited email contact and I recall that he emailed me at a time when I was going through some difficulties. My impression was that I was less than my usual courteous self—while I did not cuss or wrote anything that could be construed as rude, I couldn’t give him as much time as I would have wanted.
   When Colin was confirmed as one of the victims of the in London last year, I promised his family that we at Medinge would do what we could to carry on Colin’s legacy.
   So, in this vein, and leading up to the first anniversary of Colin’s passing,
‘Vibrant brands sum up the meaning of the company proposition in a mental picture that people have to look inside and check before they open their mouths and speak’
Colin Morley
I wanted to give his thoughts greater attention, and to pay tribute to his thinking. For Colin wanted to be a better place, and the absence of his input and work over the last year means we are poorer as a planet.
   In 2004, he wrote to me: ‘I have been reading your site and your chapter in Beyond Branding and I wanted to thank you for inspiring me. I have struggled to make my life fit my out of work life in and other activities. You and Chris [Macrae] are showing me a way forward. …
   ‘I think of as creating the language inside a . What words do people use? What issues are discussed? What is the and the verbal emphasis? Vibrant brands sum up the meaning of the company proposition in a that people have to look inside and check before they open their mouths and speak.’
   This is a wonderful analogy, and begins to point to the -as-community idea that writers like Stefan Engeseth uses. Never mind what the Diktat from head office is, the way a is perceived is dependent wholly on the way its audience sees it. Even inside a business, there is an audience which has to interpret and express the brand, so how good that brand is depends on the words used internally. The issues—which may range from to human resources—will steer a company.
   I do like Colin’s last sentence above. If the brand is vibrant, one is compelled to look deeper inside the organization. People begin wondering, ‘Is there a mystique there?’
   The trick in the 2000s, I imagine, is how to balance the consumer desire for and engagement with creating a brand . If audiences are indeed in control of brands, then it follows that the mystique can only be created by those audiences. Therefore, an organization has to co-opt audiences, or, better yet, to inspire them, to create that mystique.
   That can be done by generating a core idea that is so universal and compelling that others become . Religions, and even cults, do this—but the tools can be used by any that wishes to do a greater good. seems to be the most logical tack to take if an organization wishes to take advantage of 2000s’ and generate mystique and a compelling behind a brand.

Del.icio.us tags: CSR social responsibility brand branding audiences organizations management Colin Morley spirituality business Deepak Chopra
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Comments:
Thanks for stopping by my blog, Jack. I think it's great that you're carrying on Colin's legacy. Sounds like he had some great things to say.  
Thanks, Katja! He was a great guy and I only wish more marketers were as conscientious. I’m going to try to blog something in his memory every week leading up to July 7.
   He also would have placed some significance to the time you posted—22.22.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.


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