I’ve just returned from a four day trip to Amsterdam where I attended the 2010 Fall Confrad Meeting (our international agency network). 18 agencies were in attendance, including Suite3 from Milan, our newest Confrad member.
During the meeting, we met Ruud Heijenga from Brandfriend, who describes his Amsterdam-based organization as a transfer point between industry and higher education in the area of ‘insights-based’ brand management. Using a technique called Insights Discovery, based on the work of Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, Brandfriend is working to create stronger more meaningful connections between people and brands — connections that are more human, more credible and more consistent.
To bring a brand’s personality to life, Brandfriend utilizes a process that incorporates a clever four-color wheel created by Scottsman Andi Lothian, founder of Insights Discovery. One clear benefit of the approach is that the colors form a common language for better understanding a brand, creating more effective interaction among brand teams and providing clear pathways for organizational growth.
According to Brandfriend, each of the four colors – Cool Blue, Earth Green, Sunshine Yellow and Fiery Red can be found within any brand and are represented in varying degrees.
It is the unique ordering of the color energies that shape the brand’s style and basis for thinking, working and communicating.
The combination of being with my fellow Confrad members in Amsterdam and meeting my new friend, Ruud Heijenga from Brandfriend, taught me that companies are much like countries in that they are essentially made up of similar parts with the same basic purpose and goals. At their core, however, is something that makes them inherently unique. It is our goal as marketers and brand stewards to find that thing in our clients’ brands, the thing that makes Dutch people Dutch, for example, and then work to proclaim it, bring out the best in it, improve those aspects that are weaknesses and preserve the part that makes it truly special and worth caring for in the first place.