Well, some time has passed and now I’m back with another article for brand enthusiasts on my list of inspirational authors OUTSIDE the world of branding. Welcome! Before I start with today’s quartet of non-brand authors, let’s take a minute to look at the previous sources that made it onto the list. Did you read at least some of them? Did you, for example, take a look at Wikipedia? At Jung? Maslow? Erikson? Did you try the Gestalt games? Today’s text does not even remotely require that you have read the previous one, but if you manage to go through it quickly now…let’s just say it will make me happy.
However, I myself am going to get back to one part; in those few weeks between posts I processed 9 brands (yes, I did the counting) that wanted hire me for a consultation and – in the spirit of developmental psychology – were only in their first phase. What do I do with these? Do you remember? Yes, I send them away for half a year. My answer is that I am no fortune-teller. Bring data for at least half a year of your existence and I will help you. I will help you optimize. But how can anyone optimize something that physically doesn’t even exist yet? Hardly, huh? So what is it you want from me? Well, probably not advice. I know what you want; in this phase, you want me to assure you and confirm that you have it all figured out. And that it will work. And that it will earn you some money! You may not think so, but I do praise often and gladly, and in situations like these I mostly praise courage and determination! But that is all. As I mentioned last time – if your brand does not survive for six months without any consultants, it was not worth it. Everybody has a right to do business, no question about it. But please – let’s not think success is something we are entitled to! Success is an extremely fragile thing you can crush before it manages to grow up.
Ok, that is enough. Le’s get to reading, shall we?
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) – according to Steven Haggbloom, Sigmund is the third most influential psychologist ever. And some may add the most overestimated. And I would personally add – a psychologist with the strongest personal brand. By the way, do you think Sig was building a brand? How come he has one, then? And why are so many people building it? Well, think about it yourselves. Freud has left a lot here, be it for his followers or opponents. In fact, how much do you know about Freud? Do you know that he was born in what is now the Czech Republic? That he lived in Vienna? Died in England? That his daughter followed in her father’s footsteps? And what do you know about his work – something about dreams? Ego? Lust? Let me stop at the unconscious mind which is what Freud dealt with in the area of dreams, slips of tongue or humor and jokes. David Ogilvy said (let’s just believe it) that the best ideas always look like a joke first. And that we should always do the thinking in a cheerful environment to stimulate humor. Interesting, huh? So many people have told me that they keep a writing pad next to the bed to write down their dreams in order to get ideas for their business.
Alfred Adler (1870–1937) – Freud’s disciple and colleague. And 67th most influential psychologist ever, according to Haggbloom. Alfred incorporates Freud’s individual perspective of man into a social context. The basic aim of an individual is to be incorporated into society. And beware, brands – an individual is determined by its aim, its goal. This approach is marked as teleological (do not confuse this with theological, please), derived from Greek telos meaning aim. The aim is not always conscious, though. But it is. This aim also defines one’s incorporation into society, which Adlerian psychology calls lifestyle. Dear friends, is not this a much more useful perspective of brands than those hundreds of smart, modern definitions? Or else – what is your aim? Purpose? Incorporation into society? Your brand lifestyle? Amazing, this is one of the building blocks of my approach. I do not use visions in my work; I am happy to leave them for visionaries. Or fortune-tellers. I work with an aim. A goal. It is no coincidence that (hopefully) in several months I will obtain a goal-conscious coaching certificate, and that is why I chose Dr. František Hroník.
Viktor Emil Frankl (1905–1997) – I read somewhere that Frankl closes a triad of will: Freud defined man with a will for lust, Adler with a will for power, and Frankl with a will for meaning. Frankl is modern, Frankl’s works are widely read, Frankl is popular. Meaning is one (at least for me) of the popular buzzwords of the modern online population. Everybody wants to do some meaningful work, to live meaningfully, to do some meaningful business. I could even mention the phenomenon Meaningful Life from America. Some even use the term meaningfulness in brands – let’s create meaningful brands! Oh yes, I agree! Only… this meaning is a bit of a bastard. What is it? Where does it come from? How to describe it? Forget it. Get your feet back on the ground and start to read Frankl. His work is excellent. So authentic because he verified his logotherapy (i.e. therapy by meaning) by surviving a concentration camp. Of course this therapy of his wasn’t the only reason he survived. No way! In his book he says that he could not have survived without luck, without being lucky in counting off in one-two… Well, just read it for yourself. Take a look at expressions like hyper-intention and hyper-reflection. Dear friends, these are some of the most frequent hypotheses for the diagnoses of my patients. Excuse me, my clients.
Erich Seligmann Fromm (1900–1980) – Erich will be the last of my recommendations for today, regardless of the fact that he didn’t make it onto Haggbloom’s first hundred. By the way, Frankl didn’t make it either; what a packed list! His perspective of man leads us to social and even cultural contexts. In my opinion, this topic is currently more pressing than ever before. Such a hackneyed phrase – the world has been getting smaller and it cannot go any further. It cannot get any smaller, and everything tends to assimilate. Nevertheless, cultural contexts are resisting and the need for them has begun surfacing again. This is a very strong topic in marketing. Grab Fromm and read about the origin about good and evil. Yes, this author I’m recommending will be to a certain extent more ideological than scientific, but whatever. I think his opinions are topical now more than during his time. The overlap of your brand, the fight of good and evil – all these may seem of no importance to you. Well, the meaning (hello Viktor) of doing business is profit. Or am I wrong?
Like it? Enjoy it? I do. More and more. So just keep reading, thinking about yourself and about your brands. And maybe we will meet somewhere; there will be quite a lot of opportunities in the fall. Have a nice summer!