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On the Right Track to Inspired Branding
By: Rod Ebright
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Just outside Union Station, the iconic railway terminal in Los Angeles, etched in black stone are these words: “VISION TO SEE, FAITH TO BELIEVE, COURAGE TO DO."

It's easy to guess that this inscription was intended to inspire the general population dealing with the challenges of the 1930s as well as the thousands of servicemen and women who passed through this spot in later years on their way to Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other military destinations. It is safe to say that these words were not written to guide twenty-first century advertising.

Yet they do.

The creation of a powerful and successful brand cannot occur without vision, faith, and courage.

Every time I encounter mediocre advertising (which, sadly, is pretty frequently), I wonder: Was there a better idea that got dumped? At some point in the creative process, did someone come up with a visionary concept but a lack of faith in the idea or the fear of failure stopped it in its tracks?

The very nature of successful promotion is to be different, to stand out. Over the years, this quality has been defined by many terms: unique selling proposition, differentiation, positioning, brand personality, the wow factor, and on and on.

The very act of being different moves you into the realm of the unknown. It takes courage.

And courage exists only when you have a strong belief (faith) in what you are doing. And a strong belief in something new and different can only come from a focused, well-inform vision.

Copyright © 2011 Rod Ebright

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About the Author
Rod Ebright, Director of Marketing & Development at The Granted Wish Foundation, is a marketing communications strategist and creative director who also conducts workshops and retreats on the creative process. He conducts an annual three-day Creativity Retreat (October 12–14) in the Hocking Hills of southeastern Ohio. You can connect with Rod at RodEbright.com and follow him on Twitter.
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