Does your brand make you puke?


Brand ownership isn’t easy. In fact, its very difficult because we’ve all been taught to suppress our natural creativity. The only time we take our eyes off the bottom line is when we wrap our hands around what Hugh McLeod calls business porn – the stories of great brands, great businesses and great lives in the pages of Fast Company, In Search of Excellence, and others – dreaming of immersing ourselves in the self-satisfaction of a good brand, an invigorating work environment and or job that doesn’t make us puke.

This is what it looks like.

Mike Wagner’s post about Blu Dot gives us some clues about what the alternative might look like. In his post is this clue:

“Andrew Blauvelt, design director and curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is a big fan – and a customer who owns several pieces. He raves, “They take a lighthearted approach, but are still serious about solving design problems. Their furniture has spirit and ingenuity; a down-to-earth appeal.”

It’s not about making money – although they made $7.5 million last year, according to Mike. It’s about why they are in business: to solve design problems. And look at the picture: they’re smiling. They enjoy their job! If you can’t love what you’re doing, why do it?

How do you know you don’t love your job? How do you know that you’re not even close to owning your brand? You start saying things like:

  • “We can’t spend money on marketing until we make a few more sales?”
  • “We can do that in house and save a lot of money.”
  • “Customer service and quality are our strengths.”
  • “I’m getting tired of our logo. Let’s freshen it up.”
  • “What’s that going to cost.”

Most of the people at Blu Dot, at Southwest Airlines, at Starbucks love their work. And it shows.
How do people know you love your job? And what are you willing to do to change?

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