Driving Lessons

Lessons to Drive Your Brand

Never take things personally.

Indicate to others your intentions.

Leave yourself an out.

Look as far down the road as you can.

Phrases to live by? Words of wisdom from the pulpit? Excerpts from a best-selling business guru?

No, behind-the wheel instruction from Mr. Altier, instructor/teacher Cretin High School – 1976. And yes, words of great wisdom that have greater implication than almost any lessons learned by this 54 year-old whose last 30 years have been spent developing marketing brand communications.

Don’t take things personally. The other driver does not know you, so you can’t take his actions personally. But in the creative field – are you kidding? Where every viewer critiques our work? Well, you artists, writers, directors and producers – don’t take things personally! The work is up for review, not you!

Always indicate your intentions to others. Common courtesy and safety dictates we signal our next move to those around us on the road. In the creative arena, there is no place for quick, dangerous moves. Rather, we must clearly convey our clients’ messages – they know what to say, we know how to say it with words and pictures. Let them in on a little of the creative magic that happens behind the curtain…

Always leave yourself an out. Expect the unexpected to happen on the road, and constantly plan an out in case drastic maneuvers are necessary. If you’re properly servicing your client, offer not a single solution to cram down their throats. Think broadly, present multiple ideas, keep some in your back pocket. Then, with your client as your partner, guide them along the path to a finely honed idea that all can take credit for and be proud of!

Look as far down the road as you can. As you drive along, keep the horizon line in sight and you’ll see what’s coming up ahead long before you reach it. We are in the business of building relationships, and its each touch-point we create for our clients that collectively builds relationship. Never lose sight that our ultimate goal is to create brand advocates.

All 4 thoughts above are key in any creative, marketing or advertising effort. And if we can apply these same thoughts in all our life experiences, all the better! Oh yeah, they are also life-long driving rules I wished everyone obeyed… Thanks, Mr. Altier!

Dave Kuettel

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