That Vision Thing

Great post from the infamous Joel Makower on the need for a positive, detailed, coherent, and communal vision of the bright green future that everyone can realistically rally around.  You know, something to lift us out of the counterproductive doomsday narratives that still dominate too much of green discourse — a vision that captures the interconnected economic, ecological, and geopolitical promise of living more efficiently.

I agree with Joel that the number of people offering such a tangible, integrated vision at any level deeper than campaign-trail sound bytes seems alarmingly slim (though there are of course a handful of noble and high-profile exceptions).  I disagree, however, that it’s Obama’s — or any one person’s — responsibility to right the ship.

The problem with bringing vision to meta-brands, particularly one as complex as meta-brand green, is that they’re fundamentally not built for commanders-in-chief.  Vision is driven by individual operators with tangible plans and real customer relationships; meta-brand platforms are messy collages of competing aspirations vetted by the participating public.

In other words, meta-branding happens from the bottom up.  We are not a latent army of true believers waiting for marching orders from on high.  We are a misfit band of cyclists and farmers-market shoppers and backyard composters and solar panel saleswomen and armchair commentators.  We are disorganized, often frustratingly counterproductive.  We are largely making it up as we go along.

But we are going along.  And that’s more than many centrally-managed, by-the-book brands can say for themselves.

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thoughts at the collision of business, brand and creativity

I'm Ryan Cunningham. I help companies and culture play nice with each other. At CREATURE we call this Brand Strategy, a term that carries a nice halo of reliability and structure. Here, I'm just another guy who thinks about the world and writes it down from time to time.

The result is a pile of knowledge to be used in, and for, the future. Feel free to sift through the heap for useful connections.

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