Infographics are all the rage. And why not? When done correctly they simplify complex (and sometimes not so complex) ideas, without the clutter of clumsy sentences and mangled metaphors. But being clever can be harder than it looks. Let us help. Check out this conceptual guide to songs from the last century. It’s a nice example of inside-the-box thinking for outside-the-box ideas like love, jealously, perfection and post-relationship stress disorder. A little inspiration for you in your quest to bring brevity to your brilliance and pack more potency into your brand’s most nebulous value propositions. Happy Monday!
Looks like we made it. Burning Man happened to us, and we definitely happened to Burning Man. It was an incredible adventure, and we already have our sights on next year. But what was it? What does it all mean for brands and business? Henry Fonda once said in some movie, “There can’t be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience.” Well, first and foremost, Burning Man represents a positive effort to understand what it means to have a conscience—about the planet, about creativity, about self and about connecting the dots to everyday life. It’s a gift society—not barter—people give knowing they get back—but not necessarily from you.
Top 3 things we learned about Burning Man and Brand
- Have a cause — a reason to exist beyond sales.
Do something that will have legitimate impact on the big picture. Something that people can gather around. That supports your brand mission. Otherwise you look like a commodity and a waste of space. That’s bad for business. People have choices and they are increasingly choosing brands that are out to change the world, even in some small way.
- Keep it real.
This one’s tough. Acting cool is never cool. People know fake when they see it. You need to dive in and interact with customers if you want any authenticity. To know thy brand self is to know thy customer. Rad language and posturing is no substitute for talking and acting like a human being who understands what people are up against. Self-deprecation is one way. There are others.
- Have fun.
Plot spoiler: we all die. Burning Man is about celebrating life and understanding it all goes too fast. And Burning Man culture is quickly becoming the new mainstream. You may scoff, but it’s true. Fortune 500 companies around the world are turning to the event, looking for answers to their biggest issues. What is an authentic experience? What are the turn-offs? How do you turn on society’s brightest minds and brand evangelists?
One thing you learn fast is it’s one big community. Everyone is so willing to help. When you are without — necessities break, stomachs growl — there is someone to give you a hand around every corner. An incredible community that is rife with goodwill, intelligence, experience and the best intentions. Even when your mojo is on the ropes, there is a vibe nearby that will pick you up. Here’s a great example that captures one essential essence of the Burning Man experience.
Read a short, but excellent explanation of why Burning Man wants to keep brands from commodifying the last non-commodified experience on earth.