Ideas Amplified™ | The Flink Blog

Branding And “Beginner’s Mind”.

What beliefs are preventing your company and brand from experiencing growth?

Food and beverage company founders feel that nobody can know their product the way they do. As a result, they don’t relish input from others and often feel that copying success will lead to success. “If it worked for them, it’ll work for us!”

But brand design doesn’t work that way. It’s a custom process. Every brand has different stories to tell and a diverse audience to hear them.

We see what we believe
as often as we believe what we see.

We see what we believe is there.

It’s the reason most people struggle to draw. We spend more time looking at our hands than we do studying the subject that’s right in front of us.

I came across a powerful example of this a few years back in the “Velocipedi Project” by Gianluca Gimini. First, he asked people to draw pictures of bikes from memory.

Then, he created bizarre photo-realistic images of their sketches in his 3D software. While cool and strange, the results highlight how often we don’t know what we think we know.

We conclude and suppose when we ought to look deeper and seek insight. First, we need a fresh set of eyes. Someone from the outside who takes a good, in-depth look at things with a “Beginners’ Mind.”

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities,
but in the expert’s mind there are few.”

(Shunryu Suzuki)

The beginner’s mind makes no assumptions. It’s free from corporate culture and sacred cows and not at all concerned with frail egos. Instead, it’s about ideas. — Even ideas that are outside the box of rules that restrain internal staff.

A beginner’s mind tells a record executive to start an airline. It suggests to another that they give away shoes for each pair he sells. And it makes a computing legend recreate mobile phones and the music business in his image.

How could your company benefit from adopting “A Beginner’s Mind” approach?

What would it look like to clear the slate? To start fresh without having to sidestep personal preferences and biases?

What if you could overcome the beliefs that have been holding your company back?

What if you could build your brand while acknowledging your competition? Focus on the essential differences of your product and tell those stories in compelling ways? A method that removed personal preferences and focused on consumer behaviour and choices?

There is. It’s called “Branding”.

And by branding, I don’t mean the usual definition. The “usage manual definition” directing logo, font and colour use and placement. We need that too, but consistent logos and colours don’t create memorable brands. Manuals build consistency, but consistency is only the start.

Branding is about creating and controlling the narrative. It’s a strategy to move consumers’ beliefs from one place to another over time.

Branding looks to build on consumer understanding and attempts to build bridges between your brand and your audience. It codifies your look and messaging across everything you do. From your website design, food packaging design to your marketing campaigns.

As a food and beverage industry founder, your opinions, fears, and beliefs can get in the way if not held in check. It’s time to look deeper, seek insights, and even invite an outside perspective.

I’m standing by and have some “stupid questions” for you.

Let’s talk about your brand.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR / / / Brent Flink is an award-winning graphic designer, marketer and the founder and Creative Director of Flink Branding, a Vancouver-based food & beverage brand design firm. He specializes in helping food and beverage brands find their authentic voice and build brands that build companies.

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