It is not enough to simply document that a thing works or how it works. You must find out why it works. Most revolutionary business innovations and innovative brand identities were inspired by a question that began with “What if…?” What-if questions spark the imagination and shake up perspectives.
The simple “What-If” question is one of the most powerful business resources you can employ. Ask enough “What-if” questions and you will eventually work your way to an innovative solution. And do not forget to ask: “What if we could build a brand that everybody falls in love with?” That is how you know you are on the right track.
Leonardo da Vinci used to hold his paintings to a mirror and view them in reverse. This technique, he said, made the painting seem as if were painted by someone else, which made him better able to judge its faults.
Reversal is a simple, but effective problem-solving technique. It is an old trick, but it works with thoughts, ideas, philosophies, and objects. If it’s black, paint it white. If it is right side up, flip it upside down. Reverse your logo. Reverse the flow of traffic entering your store. Reverse your package design. Reverse your website homepage.
Good product design, and good decision-making in general, is often about reducing a problem to its simplest elements. Even the most complex, vexing problems have an identifiable, underlying pattern. It is easy, ironically, to make something complex. But it’s difficult to make something simple.
The unconscious is not a mystical force. It is an environment that we can monitor and educate. In Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell summarized that potential like this: “Every moment—every blink—is composed of a series of discrete moving parts, and every one of those parts offers an opportunity for intervention, for reform, and for correction.”
Become a better user of your brain—your whole brain—and you will become a better brand strategist and strategic business manager.
Rivalry in the marketplace will only grow fiercer. Whole-brain branding may ultimately be the difference between the successful brand and the former brand.