Archives For brand as purpose


A manifesto of human aspiration

In his book Good Work, the economic thinker E.F.Schumacher describes the ‘longing for freedom’ that has become so widespread in society today:

I don’t want to join the rat race.
Not be enslaved by machines, bureaucrats, boredom, ugliness.
I don’t want to be a moron, robot, commuter.
I don’t want to become a fragment of a person.

I want to do my own thing.
I want to live simply.
I want to deal with people, not masks.
People matter. Nature matters. Beauty matters. Wholeness matters.
I want to be able to care.

This poetic manifesto of human aspiration, written in the 1970s, is one that resonates with many people today who feel unfulfilled by their jobs. I know this because when I ask people in my Brand YOU workshops, “What does success look like … for YOU”, this is what people tell me.

And so how can you begin to satisfy your desire for ‘greater freedom’? I think it requires addressing three dilemmas, or challenges if you like.

First, whether you should opt for the security and stability of a salaried job, or embrace self-employment and invent your own job. After all, you are the CEO of your life.

Second, whether you should abandon the goal of making a (successful) living, and instead create a fulfilling life. People’s number 1 career regret is, “I wish I hadn’t worked for the money”. Make sure that’s not you (as you lie on your deathbed).

And third, whether you should wean yourself off the hard-work ethic and stop filling up your time by being ‘busy’, and start being productive. Do stuff that matters. Do stuff that counts. And forget the rest, it’s all a waste of your precious time.

Is freedom a risky business? You bet it is. That’s why its called ‘freedom’.


brand as purpose


PowerPoint Presentation

Trials save lives

We’ve been working with Breast Cancer Trials since last July. We renamed them, repositioned them, created a new brand identity, launched the new brand on the inside to their people, and produced the public launch campaign that’s about to hit the proverbial airwaves this week.

This is a brand with purpose, and that purpose is simple and compelling. Every day 56 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia and New Zealand. Breast Cancer Trials exists to help every one of them survive breast cancer and get on with living and loving their lives. Breast Cancer Trials have literally saved the lives of millions of people affected by breast cancer since their inception in 1978, and very few people have even heard of them.

So please check out their site and give them your support. Thanks 🙂

brand as purpose



RUOKDay is today.

Started by Gavin Larkin, RUOK? Day is a reminder to all of us to ask someone we know who might be struggling with life, if they are OK?

While RUOK? Day is a once a year event, asking someone if they are OK is not — it’s something we can and should do every day.

To me RUOK? speaks to the power in each of us. When you understand that what most people really, really want is simply to feel good about themselves, and when you realize that with just a few well-chosen words [e.g. RUOK?] you can help virtually anyone on the planet instantly achieve this, you begin to realize just how simple life is, and how powerful you are.

Thanks Gavin, and thanks to all of you who show your care by asking the question ‘RUOK?’


brand as purpose


More than a brand, Tesla is on a mission

On Sunday afternoon, as I was walking through the Sydney CBD past Armani and Gucci stores, I suddenly stumbled upon the Tesla car dealership – right in the middle of the high street shopping precinct. “That’s a first”, I thought, and so I strolled on in.

The Model X and Model S were on show, and they sure are beautiful looking cars, outside and inside. A young girl came over with an iPad to take down my details. She asked me about my interest, and I asked her about the price. The Model X starts from $150,000, and the Model S from $120,000. But there is a “cheaper more mass market” model” she told me, that will soon be available – the Model 3, starting around $60,000.

Since I’m not really than keen on dropping more than $100,000 on a car, I expressed some interest in the Model S. “Okay. May I suggest you put your name on the order list then. We will require a $1,500 deposit, and you can expect delivery of the car in 2020.”

In 2020! That’s a three-year waiting list for a $60,000 car. Incredible. All the more incredible if you consider how Tesla almost died as a brand and a business not that long ago.

After four rounds of finance, The Truth About Cars launched a “Tesla Death Watch” in May 2008, as Tesla needed a further round of financing to survive. In October 2008 Elon Musk became CEO, laid off 25% of Tesla’s workforce, and added another US$40 million in order to avoid bankruptcy. By January 2009, Tesla had raised US$187 million and delivered 147 cars. Elon Musk had contributed US$70 million of his own money to the company. A pretty precarious position for any company.

And what a turnaround it’s been since then. Tesla’s production plan is set to increase to a rate of 500,000 vehicles a year by 2018. Tesla is the top ranking car brand with respect to customer satisfaction, and the top American car brand (SOURCE: Consumer Reports).

But I reckon Tesla isn’t just a car, or even a brand in the sense that nearly every other for-profit company is a brand. Tesla is actually the ultimate mission — the mother of all missions — and that is, to wean our planet off its addiction to fossil fuels, helping to create a long-term sustainable society; one that our grandchildren can enjoy and be proud of.

No automaker that chooses to concurrently produce internal combustion engine vehicles, can ever be authenticated as having a ‘mission’ that is as purposeful and meaningful as Tesla’s is. This mission — in combination with a brilliant product — is the reason everyone wants to own a Tesla and the reason everyone wants to work for Tesla. And the reason I have to wait three years to buy one.

(Although I did get a sales call on Tuesday offering me a Tesla test drive experience – which I will be sure to take them up on).