by Kristi Faulkner
You may know Carl Jung as a giant in the field of psychology. His work a century ago established Analytical Psychology – an approach that continues in practice to this day. But what many don’t know is that Carl would have made an amazing brand strategist. He was always on the hunt for powerful insights, and was driven by both logic and creativity. Like all branding professionals, his life’s work depended on developing breakthrough ideas, and he found inspiration across many disciplines: literature, Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, psychology, sociology, and the arts.
Carl Jung was an influencer and a thought leader before that became a thing. Here are some of his more quotable words of wisdom, creatively applied to branding, advertising, and consumer perception.
“You are what you do, not what you say you'll do.” Your brand promise is worthless if it’s not authentic. Don’t inflate your consumer benefits or overstate your brand promise; your target knows better.
“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotions.” All purchases are ultimately emotional. Recognize your consumer as an emotional being first, and build your strategy from the heart. Motivating insights are grounded in emotions.
“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Great brands don’t replicate their competitors’ brand positions, even if their products are parody. Instead, they identify core values that make them each distinct. Nike doesn’t try to be Adidas. Pepsi doesn’t try to be Coke.
“If you are a gifted person, it doesn’t mean that you gained something. It means you have something to give back.” There has been a genuine, generational shift in the importance of corporate responsibility. It is not a fad. It’s an expectation. Consumer research shows that the majority of Millennials believe companies have a duty to give back to society and contribute a portion of profits to good causes.
“We may think that we fully control ourselves. However, a friend can easily reveal something about us that we have absolutely no idea about.” Never underestimate the power of consumer insight. It’s vital to your brand that you regularly engage your consumer in a two-way dialogue. And listen.
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” There’s been a lot of pressure over the past decade to chase disruption and keep up with cutting-edge platforms, regardless of efficacy. While brand marketers need to stay current, you don’t need to be a slave to the bleeding edge. Just because your competitor is all over “cloud-based mobile virtual reality chat” or whatever, does not mean your brand needs to be. Be strategic and more importantly, be authentic.
“The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable." No one denies that the pace of business is rapidly increasing. However, research has shown that the most innovative minds benefit from downtime – a mind that wanders has more opportunity for creativity. Great branding relies on creativity, of course. Give your imagination the valuable time to play.
“The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.” Whether you market gym socks, paper towels, or a malaria vaccine, find the meaning in your product and connect with your audience on that basis. Active ingredients, price points and varieties of uses have nothing to do with meaning or mission. Great branding is built on relevance.
“The difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.” Brands face crises from time to time. Whether it’s a product recall or a social media kerfuffle, great brands rise from the ashes and soar. Think of JetBlue rebounding from massive operational problems; or Chipotle, and their masterful creative strategy for overcoming the e-Coli breakout in their stores. Look forward, and no obstacle is insurmountable.
“I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become.” For many brands, equity is an asset to build on. For others, it’s an albatross. Evolution is critical for survival in a quick-change marketplace. Constantly rethink your brand values, and be willing to progress as necessary. Irrelevance is death.
As brand marketers, it's our responsibility to stay one step ahead of our consumer. Never resist change – in mindset, in consumer desire, in the marketplace. As Dr. Jung famously cautioned, "What you resist, persists.”
Image Source: http://www.renegadetribune.com