Fun with Branding – What’s Your Sign?

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by: Joseph Mann

It’s hard to stay good at your job if you don’t stop to have fun with it once in a while. That’s why I love the “better than guessing” series of tools periodically released by the Mud Valley Branding Community — they’re simple, useful and don’t take themselves too seriously — exactly what you’d expect from a group whose goal is “integrating business strategy, brand marketing and Six Sigma to make you sharper than the clothes you wear!”

So after getting a little behind in reading my Mud Valley newsletters, I just discovered a cool Excel application called the “Star Signs Definition Enrichment” tool. The tool is based on the premise that most brand definitions stay on the safe side and consequently fail to differentiate themselves from their competition in a compelling way. The Star Signs tool is an exercise in examining your brand as it is currently defined using characteristics of the twelve astrological archetypes that have evolved as a general segmentation of human nature to brainstorm new ways of looking at your brand.

As the folks at Mud Valley describe it “you have twelve rich portraits of people which address their inner-most needs and motivations, and when you refer to them, people will relate to what you are saying at a deep, even subconscious, level. In branding terms, this is hugely valuable. If your brand has a tendency to be biased towards the coldly rational, here is your chance to balance it out, and warm it up, by injecting into it some powerful emotions.”

I tested the tool myself and while skeptical at first, I’ve come around to the fact that if nothing else examining your brands this way once in a while can provide some surprising insights — and is lots of fun. It’s probably even more relevant for examining and revitalizing your “personal brand.”

(By the way, joining the MV Branding Community to receive the newsletters and tools costs a measly £9.99 a year less than $US 19.99. It’s worth a look.)

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