Financialmarketing

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Know your Brand Boundaries

20th December 2015

First coined by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the phrase, “less is more,” is perfectly attuned to the brand building needs of today. “As provocative as it sounds,” said CEO Helmut Panke of BMW, “the biggest task in brand-building is being able to say no!”

Say No by pruning products, multiple messages and marginal media.

To illustrate this point in a keynote speech at the Annual Business Money Conference, we told a story about tourists walking through a small Indian village. As they approached a clearing, they noticed a little old man by the side of the road. He was reaching down and picking up scraps of wood. When they gathered closer to the man, they observed that he was producing the most beautiful elephant figurines. They watched fascinated as he whittled away at the wood with such skill, speed and dexterity.

A lady broke away from the crowd and asked the question that was on everyone’s lips: “Excuse me. I couldn’t help wondering how you are able to create such wonderful figurines at such speed using just a rusty penknife?”

The old man looked her straight in the eye and said, “It’s really quite simple. I just cut away all the bits that don’t look like an elephant.”

If you want to protect your business and emerge stronger, the answer is simple – you need to cut out all the parts that don’t look like your brand – then focus and build on what remains. Focus on what’s core. Eliminate ruthlessly.