Wishing for Unicorns

We do this thing in our family in which we make a wish every time someone catches a clock on a number like 2:22 or 4:44.

Usually the person who sees it first grabs every device they can find, makes their wish, and then rounds up everyone else so they can make their wishes, too. Does anyone else out there do this, too?

A couple of years ago, I nudged our youngest and jokingly said, “You know, you really shouldn’t wish for a unicorn because then you’d have to take care of it.”

She laughed it off and rolled her eyes.

But a couple days later, while we were driving to ski practice she said, “Dad, you know the other day when you said I shouldn’t wish for unicorns? Well, that has always been my wish.”

After hiding my surprise (and patting myself on my back for dad-ESP), I told her, “I know, because dads know everything.”

She responded, “And now I don’t wish for things but instead wish for feelings, like being happy or having fun. And I make wishes for other people, too. Do you like my new wish?”

Slam dunk dad moment. “Oh yeh! I think that’s the best thing to wish for.”

“But,” she said, “I feel like I need to do something in order for the wish come true.”

Read that again.

My daughter was 9 when she realized that a wish without action is just a wish.

Maybe it’s the malaise of the end of summer or maybe it’s the state of the world, but I think the brand world needs to stop wishing right now and start making things happen.

Is the Amazonification of consumer shopping habits convincing us that our brands aren’t as important as our products? That our relationships with consumers are mainly transactional? And to compete, we just need the right key words to get the click, no matter how expensive it is?

This vicious cycle erodes brand value which erodes even quicker when we are focused on the micro (getting the click) rather than the macro (brand perception, brand loyalty, brand essence).

So how can you get off the transactional treadmill and get back to your own path? How do you confidently differentiate yourself from your competition?

As part of our Quick Win Solutions this fall, we’re offering a Brand Lab sprint.

This half-day realignment session defines what separates you from your competition, brings you closer to your consumers, and gives you actionable steps for moving forward, especially as you begin 2024 planning.

It may not be a unicorn, but it feels just as special.