Backwards Brand Treasure Map

21-Nov-2011

So when pirates bury their treasure chests, you’ve gotta imagine they put in some serious hours figuring out how to make a proper map.  We’ve got a brand exercise that should only take ten minutes, and is a continuation of our fun “Your Brand On A Desert Island” series. This one’s called Backwards Brand Treasure Map. See, once that pirate heaves that last shovelful of sand on top of their piratey chest, they’ve sort of got to work backwards to document its location, right?

They have to backstep and count their paces from where “X” marks the spot to the next landmark. Like fifty paces back to the palm tree that forks in two, then a hundred back to the giant rock that sort of looks like a giant crab, and finally back to the spot on the beach where this savings-minded pirate plans to come ashore someday to dig up his treasure and retire in all his piratey glory.  

So how will you determine your brand’s future success? Will you consider striking “gold,” when your brand becomes a household name? Or, is being perceived as one of the top ten experts in your niche field, or the best in your region, your version of brand treasure? Is it a certain number of followers that you count like coins, or is it the emotional connections you are able to forge with your rareness?

Branding Exercise - Treasure Map

Backwards Brand Treasure Map:
So here’s a fun arrrggh-signment matey.  (This is actually a variation of an exercise that Michael Stelzner, social media expert and author, outlines in his content strategy book we reviewed and recommend titled Launch. But his version involves a rocket ship, and less pirate-speak.)

1. Get a piece of paper and draw an “X.” That marks the spot.
2. Next to the “X” describe in just a few words or a picture what you consider to be the most glorious end-goal of your brand. Now let’s say that’s five years in the future. Write that down. Five years.  Now, all you have to do is pace backwards.
3. Draw a line and a dot backwards from the “X.” That’s a landmark. Perhaps it’s a three year landmark. Write down three things you had to do to get to that landmark.
4. Now go back to one year. Write down three actions you had to complete to get to that achievement.
5. Now, trace back to today. You are standing at the shore of your beach. What are three things you can do today?  

Now looky there you scurvy dog. You have an albeit rough (but aren’t all authentic pirate maps) but perfectly respectable brand treasure map.

Although it always seems the pirate ends up a poor heap of bones with an eye-patch in these stories, and some other plucky adventurers (those dang Goonies!) follows his map to the treasure. But hey, if you are a small business of more than just one person or even one-hundred, there’s something to be said for other people being able to understand where your heart’s treasure lies.

Can other people understand your map? Can they share your passion? But mostly, does it make sense to you?

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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