Stylised reality and finely crafted brands

Last week 36 Primary School children visited the Rare Skills Gallery.

As I talked to them about different artists techniques and styles, I asked what they thought of a particular painting which was a beautifully executed example of Stylised Realism.

Many recognised the location and said it reminded them of happy family walks and picnics.

By contrast, when I showed them an equally beautifully executed abstract painting, there were many different interpretations of what it might be. Some were utterly confused and didn’t really know what to make of it.

It struck me that ‘Stylised Reality’ is the essence of communicating a modern brand. By clearly promoting the truth about an organisation in a style that has been carefully crafted to reflect your values and appeal to your target audience,  you engage, inform and, potentially, evoke a positive response.

By contrast, if you take a less structured approach to brand management, regardless of how attractive that might be, you run the risk of nobody having a clear, consistent idea of who you are or what you do. Or, as Sir Thomas More puts it in Robert Bolt’s 1960s play A Man for All Seasons: “I trust I make myself obscure.”