Getting a brand new brand, and trying to identify a new identity
Ian Martin thinks in a whole new font
MONDAY. Lunch with my new brand strategist, Juno. The world of epic space is a savage one and to have any chance of keeping your brand fresh, this is what you have to do. Strategise it.
‘And I mean FRESH!’ says Juno, showering me with atomised prosecco. ‘Looted trainers fresh! We’re gonna take your existing brand identity, deconstruct it brick by brick, move it via a fleet of cultural low-loaders to its new location. Hold on, got to take this call from HRH…’
Blimey, I didn’t know Prince Charles was one of her clients. Ha ha, he’s getting a right earful for wearing a kilt to a Lady Gaga tinnitus fundraiser. The chump. Oh, Juno’s finished the call and is now refocusing on my brand. She squints at me as if identifying a body, and sounds very sure of herself.
‘Your brand is rubbish. You’re just a fat clueless old bastard, no offence. We need some seriously intensive re-identification here. We’ll use meme triangulation to bump up your epic space recognition level, then fold that into an exciting new brand envelope that will tell an incredible story to the world.’
She’s even setting rebranding homework. Tonight I have to identify the font in which I usually think (Cambria 12 pt) then replace it with one specially designed for me by Juno (Nuancé New Ting 16 pt). Retire with headache.
TUESDAY. For much, much too long motorists using the Chiswick roundabout have been denied the iconic building they so richly deserve.
Luckily, my exciting new 5,001m2 office block is on the way. Juno insisted on the extra square metre ‘to make it stand out’. She’s also adamant that its nickname should be the Platypus as this also helps with brand recognition.
But why ‘platypus’ I ask, inadvisedly. ‘Who cares? Maybe it’s like a built mammal or something and the eggs it shits are the self-contained high-spec office units. Whatever, it’s intriguing OK? Don’t ever question my integrity again!’ This is too much. I am not paying a small fortune in personal brand engineering to be abused like this. She would do well to remember who’s the consultant and who’s the client here, I say, though to be honest she slammed the phone down a while ago.
WEDNESDAY. Finishing touches to the Platypus. On Juno’s advice I have cloaked the entire building in an ‘LED shroud’ to further enigmatise it.
This will cleverly suggest to temporary roundabout residents that although there is an icon underneath, the building is ‘dead’ to them as they are in a car and not in one of the offices. They will be amply compensated, however, with corporate advertising playing on a loop all over the ‘shroud’, igniting an ‘urban life scene’ and affirming the cultural vitality of Chiswick roundabout.
Rebranding homework tonight: construct a personal statement containing the phrases ‘transformational excellence’ and ‘digital execution’.
THURSDAY. Juno just gets crosser and crosser. She reckons it’s her ‘obsessive perfectionism and critical rigour’, but she’s making less and less sense. I’m beginning to think she’s demented.
Apparently I now have to infer a personalised watermark on everything, to ‘push the brand into all corners of consciousness, yes? You want to be seeing that watermark like invisible tartan everywhere: Cultural Receive as well as Cultural Send, mm? Hold on, I’m going into a karmic tunnel…’
Plus, I only got two out of 10 for my personal statement: ‘I experience transformational excellence when I wear the little hat Juno recommended, but there are better things on the internet than digital executions.’
FRIDAY. Lunch with the Prince of Wales, who arrives in trademark glasses/nose/moustache disguise. Today, though, he’s wearing a little rebranding hat exactly like mine (squashed pork pie, Grayson Perry fabric) and Dr Dre headphones round his neck.
Juno’s convinced him he needs to connect to the ‘rural hip’, which is why he’s agreed to become patron of Mumford & Sons. Yet Charles is laughing at ME and asking in a loud voice why I’ve got a dachshund with me in a parametric polo-necked onesie.
I tell him it’s only borrowed, but that doesn’t stop the hurtful laughter.
SATURDAY. Dump Juno, revert to previous brand identity. HRH calls to say he’s done the same, but is already in trouble again for trying to bully government ministers into making Wolverhampton more ‘Romanesquey’.
SUNDAY. Culturally reposition self in recliner.