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. Today we hear from the founders of HUA&HUA and authors of Super Signs, one of China’s leading branding and strategy consultancies on how every company needs a corporate dictionary.
You need to define your products before you can position them. When you’re formulating your market strategy, you first need to settle on how you position your company, your brand and your products. But there’s one even more fundamental thing you need to do before you think about your position: You need to define your company, brand and products.
The act of defining is a way of thinking. It’s also a way to express. Suppose the names of your company, brand and products were to be added to the dictionary. How would you write the definition for them?
Try doing this exercise. List out all the names your company uses. Think of how your company will define them. Then ask your colleagues to give their own definition. Do you have the same definition in mind?
If everyone gives a different definition, then that means you don’t even understand the words used by each other in meetings. You might be speaking the same language, but you are still stuck in a linguistic Babel. The language is the same, but you don’t understand each other’s words! This makes communication very costly, and all but ensures that your meetings are pointless. Even if you reach some kind of ‘conclusion’, there’s no guarantee that everyone is on the same page regarding the conclusion. That’s why 90% of meetings are highly ineffectual.
So try to compile a corporate dictionary. Define the words your company uses. This is a very fundamental task. If you can’t even communicate clearly among yourselves, then there’s no hope in spreading your message outside the company.
The first three chapters of Super Signs all focus on one common theme: lowering the cost of spreading your message. The Hua and Hua way is a way to lower costs using creativity. All of our thinking is along two dimensions: cost and investment. This is a very business-oriented way of thinking.
Accounting has given us the concepts of standard costs and operational costs. So now let’s talk about ‘creative costs’ and how to use creativity to lower these costs.
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