Sam Hua and Nan Hua, co-authors of Super Signs and China’s leading branding and strategy consultants, give insight into how to take your brand to the ultimate level through being innovative and dreaming big.
Every brand, every company, is a maker of dreams. Every top company represents a dream for the future. The companies that represent the dream for the future. The companies that represent the dreams of all humanity are the best companies in the world.
When Bill Gates wrote his book The Road Ahead, Microsoft represented the dreams of humanity for the information age. Gates was the Chief Knowledge Officer of the world for the new digital era, the personification of that future. that made him the world’s top entrepreneur. The future then passed into the hands of Google, Apple, Facebook. Microsoft is just a second-string company now. Why? Because it no longer represents the dreams of humanity. Perhaps that’s why Bill Gates has turned his attention to being the world’s top philanthropist instead of its top entrepreneur.
What companies represent the dreams of humanity right now? Google is certainly one of them. To understand why, take a look at the automobile industry. The companies that represent advanced production and advanced culture should be the companies like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen. But these aren’t the companies that I dream of when I dream about the cars of the future. Google is the company I dream of because they’re the ones doing work in smart cars, smart roads and self-driving cars.
Who will be the ones to guide the culture of the automobile in the future? one of them will certainly be Google. When that happens, Google will represent advanced production, advanced culture and the dreams of the future in the domain of automobiles. Half of today’s car companies will be gone.
What do you get by having killer products, authoritative expertise and dreams that come true? You get much lower marketing costs because society is now accustomed to relying on your company for advice. When you represent humanity’s dreams for the future, everything you do will be the target of attention. You will become your own biggest media source.
Think about it. What will our next generation of smartphones look like? Where would we go to find out? Certainly, not a research institution or media outlet. We’ll go to Apple or Samsung and try to learn what the next product they launch is going to be like. Why? Because they have authoritative expertise when it comes to smartphones. Because, in the smartphone domain, they represent our dreams come true. When they announce a new product, it’s not a new step for their company, it’s a step for all of humankind. They take over the headlines. If Nokia were to announce a new product tomorrow, they’d never get the kind of attention no matter how much they spent on advertising.
In the context of your industry and market, you can think about your company’s value to society on these three levels: killer products, authoritative expertise and dreams come true.
What kind of expertise does 360 want to bring? What dreams does it represent? 360 wants to be an authority when it comes to internet security, and it wants to represent the dream of safe internet. It is killer products are its internet security services. Security is crucial for all four major current internet technologies – cloud computing, big data, mobile connectivity, and social networks. Security is now a fundamental service for all internet businesses. 360’s business portfolio is an all-in-one solution for internet security. It is taking on the responsibility of storing and discovering knowledge related to internet security. that’s why it organizes the China security Conference. There is no profit in organizing the conference, but it is the company’s social responsibility and value to society. For 360, its social responsibility is not an obligation, it’s part of the business.
There is a form of creativity so powerful that it only takes one look and one listen for millions of consumers to remember it, like it, buy it, and tell others about it. These are so-called Super Signs – the brands that are embedded in human culture and hidden deep in our subconscious.
This book takes a fresh approach to branding and explores how to turn brands into Super Signs in today’s competitive and ever-changing world. Super Signs are the most effective and powerful means of influencing a consumer’s actions. From a branding point of view, Super Signs are the ultimate level that your brand can reach — a level where the brand triggers an instinctive reaction in thought and action from the consumer.
Sam Hua and Nan Hua are the founders of HUA&HUA, one of China’s leading branding and strategy consultancies.
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