Are you old enough to remember the “very special” episode of Happy Days in which The Fonz goes blind? If you’ll recall, in an effort to help Fonzie rediscover his self worth, his pals take apart his precious motorcycle (for some reason leaving it in the Cunningham’s spare room above the garage), forcing a blind Arthur Fonzerelli to put the pieces back together without the benefit of eyesight.
What does this have to do with branding? Plenty.
You see, a productive branding or re-branding exercise necessarily begins with a thorough and thoughtful Discovery Phase. During that discovery phase, you take a company apart bit by bit and reduce it to its very pieces. (We’ve discussed before how the makings of a company brand is truly the sum of its parts, with every possible exposure to the public shaping in some way a company’s essence, or brand.)
You go through this process to strip away the proverbial chrome and decals and get right to the engine—that which truly drives the company, its people, its success and its mission. Then you put all of the pieces back to together, building them around that engine, until a finely tuned piece of machinery comes out the other end. That is your unique brand voice.
It sounds simple, but it’s as complex as the machinations of a Harley Davidson. It sounds easy, but a precious few companies are willing to do to their company what Potsy and Ralph did for their blind friend. But it was incredibly transformative for The Fonz, and the process is equally critical for your company’s identity.
Of course, The Fonz went on to use that very reconstructed motorcycle to drive himself to literally jump a shark, and we all remember how that turned out.
Such underscores the importance of just as thoughtfully and thoroughly constructing an Engagement Strategy (what do you do with your brand now that you’ve defined it), but that’s the subject of another blog post…
…and another Fonzie analogy!