What makes us believe in brands, true brands, is that they are expressions of a dream made real. When a good one is lost, or screwed up, it’s sad, not because we care about the brand itself, but instead we care about the human component that made it happen. It’s the story.
And the unique thing about a good brand is that when a brand turns classic, it outlives the original founder, and creates a life of its own. It keeps the idea, the story, alive, and that idea continues to keep something going in society after the moment is passed.
We picked up the book Timeless Toys by Tim Walsh. The book, subtitled Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them, is about men like Martin Glass, the father of the game Operation, who created many of the great toys of the 1960s and 1970s. The book is great because it is not about companies, or groups or toys created by marketing studies. It is about toy makers who risked it all for products that they thought would make life better, funnier or happier. Toys like Erector Sets, Monopoly, Barbie, Play Doh, Crayola, GI Joe, Big Wheel, Frisbee and Sea Monkeys.
Any good brand is a singular expression of one person. A good brand brings about heaven on earth because it is a bit of perfection; it expresses something universal. Outside of toys, think of Kemmons Wilson and Holiday Inn. Or Walt Disney, or Milton Hershey.
In most cases, these entrepreneurs were not out to make piles of money. Certainly, they knew there would be a reward, but that is only a by product. Mostly, they were out to make a living, and knew they had to do it some way, and they could either make a living by doing something they hated, or make a living by doing something that would make society better.
We were flipping through channels the other week and found evangelist Jentezen Franklin. He’s an Assemblies of God minster who talks about dreams. Not money dreams, but God dreams. God gives good dreams, and his whole premise is that God can make dreams happen.
Now, some readers might not be into the theology of the Assemblies of God. We aren’t either; we’re more fuddy-duddy Anglican. But that doesn’t stop us from finding inspiration wherever we can find it. In this video here, he talks about dreams. Of Hubert Humphrey’s dream to work in Washington. And then, he goes on to talk about Joseph, of the Old Testament, and his dreams while in Egypt. His point? The dream doesn’t become real until you pay the price for it.
Joseph, if you recall, was imprisoned because the pharoah’s wife had the hots for him. He was a slave, a man of skill, a Hebrew who would rescue the Egyptian nation from seven years of starvation through his brilliance. Where is today’s Joseph?
Even in prison, Joseph knew he had a mission in life, and kept at it, even when it hit bottom. It’s a great lesson for all of the country today. Says Franklin:
“And if that’s not bad enough, they throw him into the pit where there is no water. Everything is drying up. … Your dream is drying up. Your love and joy and excitement and opportunity are drying up. Nothing seems to be going right. What’s happening? You got yourself a for-real dream. Congratulations.”
We’d like people to put in place a few of their dreams. We all need some new dreams. And at BrandlandUSA, we’d also hope we can hold onto some of the old ones too.