Some of the work Craig and I do is what’s called branding and positioning: we help clients identify and communicate their most compelling strengths and stories and make a positive impression in the marketplace. It can be neat work, because part of it involves activating the sincere values and beliefs at the core of a company. It's not just a matter of pretty language and graphics. Good brands tap into the personality—and people—of a company.
When we brainstormed our own company website, we definitely wanted to practice what we preach. We wanted a website that conveyed both our professional offerings and a sense of who we are—since our brand is not just about “strategy, marketing, communications” but also Kiley and Craig. For the most part, we’re happy with the result. But for one glaring problem—which we just discovered.
We plopped a quote we thought was pretty cool and representative of our brand up on our homepage:
The value of an idea lies in the using of it.
In other words, hire us to help you develop your ideas and turn them into real things—don’t waste them.
So far so good on the branding front. Thank you, Thomas Edison.
Craig broke bad news to me tonight at dinner. He was listening to CBC radio today and it came up that Edison’s brilliance came at a cost. Seems he routinely sent bored schoolchildren into the neighbourhood to gather up cats (and dogs) that he would then electrocute in a public square to prove the deadliness of a competitor’s electrical invention.
As you know, I am close to insane in my adoration of cats. Like, there's-going-to-be-something-on-my-tombstone-about-cats kind of adoration. Okay, not that bad, but really close.
So the cat-electrocuting Edison in the place of honour on our homepage? Ungood. Distinctly ungood.
I would fire us.
Time for a new quote.
p.s. Edison didn't stop at cats, as you'll see from the link above.
p.p.s. Did you know about this? Craig's Uncle Wayne sent us an email about it a few months back, but we thought he was just quipping (he's a witty guy) and we didn't look into it. A mistake.