Brand Onion Worshipping

This week’s bit of genius from Brandcamp is about worshipping the "brand onion":


Whether you also use an onion, or some other shape (donut, key, flying saucer), to summarise your brand positioning, the risks are the same:
– Too much clever language
– Complex to navigate
– Hours/days/weeks wasted on word-smithing: what I call "pyramid polishing"

Now, some sort of tool can be useful to capture a detailed positioning. But here are some ways to make sure that your brand vision really gets used to create a better mix, along with the links to more detailed posts:

1. Avoid Strategy Tourism
This is the over intelectual time-wasting of working on strategy, disconnected from the business.

2. Sell the cake, not the recipe
Any brand tool is a recipe…and beyond the brand team, no-one is interested in the recipe, they want to see "the cake". In other words, they will be excited by the innovation and communication the positioning will inspire. So, bring you story to life with visuals, sound and best of all, examples from the current or future mix

3. Think less, do more
Bring the positioning to life instead of word-smithing…play with it, and take it for a test-drive. You’ll learn more about the positioning, and you’ll end up with a "prototype mix"

4. Pour your heart into it
Try writing a brand manifesto, as alternative to a brand onion. This allows you to break out of the boxes of such a tool, and express more emotion

5. Write a team t-shirt
Most "brand essence" statements are backward-looking summaries of what made you famous, not inspiring rallying calls that inspire you to create the future. Try to write the slogan you’d put on a team t-shirt to get something more motivating.