Do you know how many rules there are in branding?

Three.

Ok, actually there are thousands, but only three that if you break I will send Gino my “muscle” to shake you down.

Today I’m revisiting those three rules as they’ve been particularly important for some of the work I’ve been doing with creative for cirque and broadway clients.

I’m not going to string you along with a slow build and a final grand reveal. So out with it. The rules are:.

Simple.
Focused.
Different.

That’s it.

Easy? Not so much…

Why? Because we all have lots to say and not enough time and space.

Here’s what I think of myself and what I’d love to tell everyone I meet about me and the work I do:

I’m an amazing artist, creative and branding expert with 20 years of experience in TV and advertising having worked with dozens of major brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Coca Cola and more recently Cirque Du Soleil AND I’m a great designer and strategist and you should pay me lots of money because if you work with me you’ll get the best work at an actually reasonable price because I want to make my work available to all kinds of people AND I’ve developed this cool system for coming up with compelling, insightful and effective brand messaging that’s super easy and fun, and I have a 100% success rate with clients, AND people love me and I love them, AND I like surfing and backpacking AND I listen to cool music so I know what’s up AND you can trust me because I’ve done this a lot AND I love it so it’s more than a job AND dark chocolate is my favorite second only to a freshly brewed coffee in the morning, love me, like me, pay me, play me not necessarily in that order can we be friends?

Here’s what I have time for:

Um, I do Branding.

Fuuuuuck!!!

Life is tough. You only get a few words, or a few seconds to make an initial impact. That’s it. It’s not fair but it’s how it goes.

So how do you make an impact quickly?

3 rules which I’ll repeat for your convenience:

Simple.
Focused.
Different.

Is it an image? Is it a line of copy? Is it the header on a website?

Simple.
Focused.
Different.

As you may or may not know, I do marketing for major broadway and stage productions. It’s just something I’ve done over the years with a client who recently sold their company to Cirque Du Soleil for an obscene amount of money. I did all their marketing and artwork for the last 8 years. We crushed it. Here’s what I learned…

You have one image to attract customers. That image is a poster. It’s on a bus stop, on a marquee, on a billboard, in a casino or Times Square – often outdoors, often far away. One image, one title, a SHORT tagline. That’s what you get. You have to catch people’s eye from across the room, from across the street, from across a freeway…

So what do you do?

Simple.
Focused.
Different.

You keep it simple – It’s a magician that does card tricks. It’s a giant gorilla. It’s a bunch of people singing.

You keep it focused – If it’s a magician doing card tricks than the image should be the coolest one of a magician doing card tricks but that you can read from a mile away. If you made the image black and white silhouette should still read. If someone glanced at it from across the floor of the Cesar’s Palace casino they should easily understand it.

Make it different – this is the hard one. Do what no one in your industry is doing. Find another angle – it’s not just a magician, it’s a superhero magician and he’s flying over the city. But no more. No dancing monkeys, or super villains, or giant ice cream cones… unless they ARE the thing you’re selling. Don’t introduce unnecessary concepts. Don’t tell a complicated story only you know. If you have to explain what it means you didn’t nail it.

Just:
Simple.
Focused.
Different.

If it sounds difficult, well… I won’t lie to you – it’s the ultimate challenge.

But you don’t have to nail it in one go. Keep working at it. Keep looking for the angles. Get help. Try and try again until you know in your heart of hearts that it’s…

Simple.
Focused.
Different.

Any questions? Reach out…

‘Till the next time…

Gil