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January 19, 2010

New Year's Re-Resolutions

In preparing for our company's annual goals meeting, I noticed that my goals for 2010 bear a striking resemblance to my goals for 2009. On the one hand, it's a little disappointing to note that I'd made absolutely zero progress on a few initiatives that we started last year (such as Sweaty Thoughts, our just-for-kicks, fitness-focused blog...go ahead, click the link and you'll see for yourself how little progress we have really made). On the other, there was another item that seems to wind up on the list every year. And I'm starting to think that maybe it should:

Complete the Think Creative Brand Discovery

In a nutshell, Brand Discovery is a process that we complete for every single one of our clients. It involves:

  1. Taking a long, close look at who they are, what they do and what makes them different from everyone else 
  2. Developing a distinct brand promise and positioning statement
  3. Creating the tools needed to communicate that identity precisely and authentically.

Problem is, we've never really completed it for ourselves. A fact that we're constantly beating ourselves up over, but I'm starting to think that maybe it's really not such a bad thing. After all, with the advertising and marketing world changing as quickly as it is, can any agency really afford to set themselves in stone? Sure, we provide all the services you'd expect of us. But we also sell T-shirts. Write books. Launch websites asking people to share their deepest worries and their most special memories. Where would all that stuff fit in? Had we actually completed the process last year, we'd still be starting from scratch this time around. And should we finish it this year, we may still be starting all over again next year.

Maybe our own Brand Discovery keeps winding up in the recycling bin of big plans because it is, truly, an ongoing process. Because what it means to advertise, to market your company, and to serve clients who need that type of help changes every second. And because who we are as creative people is constantly in flux.

So here we are yet again, poised to launch into the new year without a clear and concrete definition of our brand. And guess what? That's okay. Then again, we wouldn't let our clients get away with that crap for a second. 


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Diane, Is there anyone in business that really enjoys the annual "come to Jesus" goal projection meeting? If this was not a rhetorical question, the answer would be no! Even though your industry is constantly evolving with new strategies, technology and targets, there has to be some baseline for goal accomplishment. Some sort of foundation established in the previous 12 months you can use to realize your accomplishment. That's why having some rudimentary goals are essential. Time to face the facts and get on with it!

With that understanding, there is a big HOWEVER. I will admit, setting goals sucks. I haven't bothered nor will I. Your blog entry next year should be focused on how you exceeded your goals from this year. Those type of statements exhibit a strong sense of success and business accomplishment. It's a powerful message, you should really try it some time. It works well for me. It's one of those situations where perception is better than reality.

Diane Levine

Jason, appreciate your feedback - and that you took the time to read the whole thing! I couldn't agree with you more. Make no mistake about it, we will definitely establish several actual goals, both tactical and strategic, by which to measure our achievements next year - or even sooner. This year, I'd like to break down the annual plans into 90-day increments, which gives you a chance to check your progress, make any changes and generally hold yourself accountable more often. So stay tuned for updates, and yes, be on the lookout for the "damn we kicked ass on everything" post that's sure to come!

Medical Advice

Determination and perseverance is a must to be more successful in the future.

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