We’re all crazy liars (and why that's a crucial brand insight)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been confounded by humans. We’ll do research with them. They’ll tell us what is important to them. And then they’ll go out and do just the opposite.

Curse you humans! Curse you lying liars! Why are you so intent on wreaking havoc on by brand strategy?

Apologies to the brand, but we just can’t help it

Okay, maybe humans aren’t the problem. Maybe the problem is the research.

The majority of research asks people to offer their thoughts about a brand. These people stop and rationally consider the question. Then give us their earnest answers. From these answers, we form our insights on how we will engage them with our brand. So far so good, right? Well, no.

Because when it comes time for them to make a decision, emotions take over. And emotions tend to throw all those rational reasons right out the window.

Crazy humans.

We have to quit trying to find out what they think of our brand (“Hey, how do like me?”), and discover their aspirations instead. That is where we can find the real powerful insights.


Aspirations: the secret to great brand strategy

Aspirations are dear to the heart. If we can orient our brand to serve those aspirations, we will put ourselves in a position to succeed like never before. Because we are focusing on what’s really important to those we hope to serve and not just what they tell us is important about us. See the difference there? It’s a question of whether we put them first or ourselves first.

So how do we do that? The quickest way is to introduce the larger purpose that we serve. I call it the Big Audacious Meaning. When they experience this, they can begin to see how aligning with our brand can help them make a difference in a life, a community, or even the world. This fulfills one of their most profound aspirations - the very human need to feel like they make a difference. Like they can have an impact in our world.

Everything else we do with our brand pales in comparison to the ability to serve their aspiration to feel like they matter in this world. It is undeniable.

Just ask any crazy human.