Can Your Brand be Written as a Haiku?

Branding is often complicated.

But it doesn’t always need to be.

Sometimes the simpler the message, the more it breaks through.

I participated in an interesting Webinar recently. It was from The Writer, a brand consultancy that focuses on helping companies use words more powerfully.

They led the attendees through a really useful exercise, where you were asked to explain your brand as a Haiku.

You remember Haiku’s right? They are Japanese poems consisting of 17 syllables in the form of three lines (5-7-5 syllables per line respectively).

Here’s what I came up with for BrandTwist:

A seed of insight
Nurtured by twisting to thrive
A strong brand blossoms

I love this exercise because it forces you to take ideas and strip them down to their bare essentials. With only 17 syllables, you need to make every word count. Use it when you find yourself trying to describe something and you feel is just getting too complicated. For example, a job description, a product benefit, or why someone should choose your brand over another.

It’s funny, but the constraint of the Haiku can actually be quite liberating. If you can’t express your idea simply, you need to step back and rethink what you are trying to communicate. Because if you can’t strip it down, chances are your target audience will have trouble understanding as well.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
Can you describe your brand in a Haiku?

Read the story of’s business owner, Lynn Stull’s, experience of doing this Haiku exercise to help build her brand HERE.

Our Brand School program will give you the insight and tools you need to keep your brand creative and innovative. Learn more about our next enrollment and a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session HERE.

“The value I received from my investment was incredible and I have no doubt that it will continue to pay dividends to me.”  – Lynn Stull, Owner Arts2Thrive

Want to Get Promoted? Try to Get Fired

Stuck in an innovation rut? Here’s a technique that will help get those creative juices flowing again.

Give yourself this task: “What idea could I come up with that would get me fired?”

I’m not talking about spreading company gossip on Facebook or throwing up all over the CEO at the office summer party.

I’m talking about creating an idea for your brand that seems so patently absurd that it could get you fired.

By thinking in this way, going to the extreme opposite of what’s expected, you actually free up your thinking and might just come up with a nugget of an idea that could be refined into something more plausible, maybe even brilliant and highly marketable.

Here’s an example

Beware of Religious Fanatics and Clever Marketing


This pamphlet gives further support to Marshall McLuhan‘s statement that “the medium is the message”.

While I in no way support the Jews for Jesus organization that publishes and circulates this pamphlet, I do have to (begrudgingly) tip my hat to their marketing prowess.

To get a pamphlet that reads “Beware of Religious Fanatics Handling Out Pamphlets” from a group that many consider fanatical and that is indeed handing out pamphlets…well pretty clever way to address the issue head on.

It certainly made me pick up and read the pamphlet.

While my views on their beliefs have not changed after reading the piece…I have to give credit where credit is due.

I would love to see more brands turn their perceived weakness into a point of engagement and to make more clever use of traditional mediums.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

How have you seen brands use the “medium as the message” in new and interesing ways?

Our online Brand School course will give you the insight and tools you need to keep your brand message and media creative and innovative. Receive more information about the next semester and free tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

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Brand School had great examples of real companies. I was able to dig even deeper, think of things in a new way, and get new ideas for my brand.It was well worth the fee. – Brenda C.

The Mis-branding of the Healthcare Debate

I am not heavily into politics.

But, like the rest of America, I couldn’t help watching the whole health care debate and vote this weekend.

At least casually, from the treadmill at my gym/tennis club.

And I overheard some interesting conversations among the members there.

Some of the dynamics I observed seem relevant to me as a more general lesson in good vs. bad branding…