Human Centered Branding: Getting Starting

After sketching out some wireframes for a website that would bring this idea to life, I was able to get approval to move forward, but while pitching this idea, I realized it was a bigger ask than I thought. The idea, which is to create and implement a brand model that is as much about user input as it is about the brand's presenting values and goals, is exciting, I hope, if you are already a brand nerd, but not necessarily to anyone else. In the worst light, it looks like a project with considerable challenges:

• Large draw on the time of senior-level creatives
• Long-term collaboration with teams across the organization
• Costly
• The value of a solidified brand identity is difficult to convey to some groups, whose buy-in is essential
• Success relies on input from employees and consumers
• The website will require ongoing monitoring and maintenance, which would require the generation of a new governance structure
• The result may not deliver on it's promise
• And (worst of all) there's no direct relationship between brand awareness work and revenue

I'm not deterred. Perhaps this is a naive optimism, but I believe we can achieve a better relationship between users and brands with radical honesty. An honesty that allows the brand and its users to change in real-time based on new information.

There seems to be a simple truth at the core of what should make this work. Every brand is influenced and affected by the people who work behind it and the markets who support it. But as marketers, we let brand act as a veil between these two groups and that veil almost always includes an inauthentic posturing. What do we have to hide? And who do we think we're fooling? 

Tomorrow, I'l get into the structure for the site, or at least post images of the wireframe sketches and hopefully a planning calendar for the initial construction of a test site. Full expecting to practice a rapid prototyping approach to all off this. Inspired by something one of the Kelley brothers said, 'what might we accomplish in just one day?'