I have a ten-year-old daughter. Now there is a lead line – I could probably stop there and let you fill in your own story based on your own experiences!
But believe it or not, I have a business point to make that involves my daughter.
Try as I might, I cannot get her to like my music or even listen to it. I can’t get her to watch my shows or to conform to my sense of style. She seems determined to decide what she likes and what she wants in her own special way.
The one consolation (I think!) is that she appears to have the same sense of humour.
But in the last little while I have come to acknowledge (and quietly appreciate) her growing need for independence. More importantly I have come to understand that I am not responsible for building a new “me” – I am responsible for helping her build the best “her” she can be!
And that brings us to the business lesson (I promised I’d get there!).
In my career, I have done hundreds of business plans. There are a lot of “things” and processes I like to use in the development of these plans. But in the same way that I am not building a clone of myself in my daughter, I realize that I cannot clone a business plan for a client.
Each plan must be built to reflect the client’s individual interests and needs – so that I can help them build the “best business they can be”.
In a way, brand planning is not unlike raising a child. It doesn’t run on formal processes and systems. And it takes an ability to listen and adapt the approach to specific corporate personalities and objectives.
The idea isn’t to “stuff” the business into a preconceived solution to meet brand parameters. A good brand process should give us a chance to actually see the business and its opportunities, and as a result, build a positioning that truly reflects the reality for each individual company.
It’s a lesson made so much clearer through the experiences I have with my daughter and for that I would like to publicly thank her!