01 January 2010

Creating a Lighthouse Identity

I lived and worked in Canada for a time in the early 1990s. For over six years, Vancouver was my home; and for a third of that time, I used to commute to work, an hour each way, along a coastal road to my office downtown. A lighthouse dotted a rocky outcrop along my route; and I remember wondering what it would be like to trade places with the lighthouse master for a week. After a month or so, I stopped gazing at the lighthouse as I drove past: I knew it was there, and I knew that it signalled I was only 10 minutes from home.

As we put to bed a tumultuous 2009 and gird ourselves for the year ahead, we should give a thought ourselves to polishing and projecting a Lighthouse Identity -- for the brands under our charge as well as our own personal brands. We should strive to be -- and care for -- brands with a clear sense of who they are, and what they stand for. Brands with a true north, that aren't swayed by market forces, that compel others to navigate by them because they are anchored in constancy and consistency.

Adam Morgan lays out the credo of building a lighthouse identity in his seminal book Eating The Big Fish. It's very good; read it.

2010 will usher in a sea of change. To survive and thrive, we need a firm foundation, a bedrock of values for ourselves and our brands that will stand the test of time.

Happy new year, and may your light shine as you strive to 'keep it visible'.

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