Our brand

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Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

2 June 2020

Right now. OUR brand matters most of all.

These are the strangest of times — none like I can ever remember or could have imagined. And I can’t help but feel the world is cascading into an impending sea change. Tinderboxes, fused ever long ago, are mounting into rupturing heads. Right now, this very moment, all that we have come to feel comfortable with is changing underfoot.

I can’t help but be reminded of the Dylan Thomas poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night.”

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Humans — we must tend to our brands. And it’s with urgency that we must do so.”

Our brand in crisis

All that I can ever speak of are the properties that I have come to know to be true in my own self. Right now, it’s the small voice inside us all — that seems to never, ever waver in its truth — which rages on. And we cannot lose sight or hold of that for the sake of our brand.

Our brandFear is the great distractor, isn’t it? It’s what holds brands in the business back. And as a microcosm, fear creates the walls in our own selves, too. Ever the poetry enthusiast, I am reminded of opening verse of William Butler Yeats’ “The Seconds Coming.”

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   

Are full of passionate intensity.

Seems prophetic, no?

I’m not here to preach. Lord knows, I have a lifetime of work to do on me. But it’s that work on our brand — as human beings — that we need to focus on.

As I fell asleep last night, with windows open, a blaze of sirens roared in backdrop. I sink into my head, afraid for the world my kids and their kids will live — “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.”

Humans — we must tend to our brands. And it’s with urgency that we must do so.

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