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In Branding, keep calm & carry on

There is undeniable value when we see a professional or entity carry out a task with care and respect for the time needed to complete it. My father always told me stories of pairs of shoemakers and shoe shiners in times past who had total concentration while carrying out their duties. Affection for the shoes and the well-being of the customer at that moment was all that mattered, and time, well, time was running, but always in favor of the elder, man or child who performed such an act.

Walking through the streets of São Paulo today, it would be very rare to come across a scene like this. The world has become hyper digitized, fast, ephemeral. This new era has made many things available to us, but it has also created a huge scarcity that the old lesson teaches us – we need time and full attention to perform and generate high-quality solutions. This applies to Branding and to everything in our lives.

Jeremy Bentham, social reformer and founder of utilitarianism, developed the theory of the panopticon, a central tower that would inspire the architecture of many prisons within and outside Europe. This construction was implemented so that guards could better monitor their prisoners, as it was located in the center and in front of a circle full of occupied cells. Jumping ahead to 2024, we live in an unbridled mutation of Bentham's panopticon, a digital panopticon, where everything and everyone can be observed at any time, with the use of cell phones, cameras and computers. And why do I bring this insight? Well, because even with all this supposed capacity, with the chance to practice healthy amounts of digital voyeurism, we are captivated by the speed at which these systems move before us. We are hastily taken by the illusion that if we use the panopticon quickly, we will also find quick answers and solutions to our problems.

Therefore, the central premise is, to quote Napoleon Bonaparte: “Dress me slowly, because I am in a hurry.” In other words, the longevity of the output we wish to cultivate in the future depends largely on the average speed of the input we supply today. At TroianoBranding, we carried out two projects in which, like shoemakers and shoe shiners, we had to have a high degree of maturity and calmness to deliver a quality response to the customer. Let me also state here that we take all our projects seriously, transmitting this same calm to all the clients and partners with whom we collaborate. And, in the case of Novex and Assaí, we embodied this spirit with conviction.

Novex, a brand belonging to the company Embelleze, which manufactures women's beauty products, called us to add greater value to its image. Meeting this need at the source, we wanted to create a project with a clear common thread, from positioning to design, without harming the special relationship that women have with their hair and the product. Through digital ethnography, we delved into the women’s universe to define the territories and, finally, Novex's positioning: Be enchanted by you. We also simplified the product packaging, turning some information clearer, but maintaining all the charm and power of relevance that already existed in the original model. Throughout the project, our team walked with moderation and wisdom, without wanting to jump from one task to another. The result would not have been the same if we had wanted to accelerate the pace to return to Embelleze with something efficient, but something that would certainly be more superficial. We were dealing with consumers, with people, and in Branding, only those who understand people are the ones who take the time to listen to them in an empathetic and truly curious way.

With Assaí, a client with whom we have already done other projects, we were responsible for creating its new Purpose and positioning. Using our So(u)l Route methodology, we delved deeply into the company's universe to reveal its Purpose: Making prosperity a reality for everyone. Always conscious of slowing down our processes to see more clearly, it was from this Purpose that we arrived at the company's positioning, in the final “Sol” phase of our methodology: Assaí Atacadista. For everyone, from sunrise to sunset. Assaí's sun shines for everyone, and it could only be fueled by active listening, and above all, by a desire to wisely manage the time we had to produce an impactful result.

Our world will always look for homeostasis. If there is growing pressure to make everything more fleeting, as a compensatory response, brands, companies and people will look for ways to slow down. And Branding comes in as an essential tool and ally in the dispute between these two spaces, preferring, as previously stated, actions based on calm and serenity. It is interesting to note some companies that promote services to join this “slow movement” attitude, such as Calm and Insight Timer, that respond to the desire of many today to apply meditation and relaxation techniques into their routines. The slow movement itself, created by the Italian Carlo Petrini, is an attempt to combat this frenzy in which we find ourselves. We can also say that Italy, as a country, is a great example that Branding, done without rushing, can completely transform and shape the image of a company, or, in this case, an entire country!

The fast, the efficient and the productive has its place in Branding and in the business world. But we can only extract deep value if we take our foot off the gas. Almost always, and I say this without exaggeration here, slower speed brings us more complete observations and insights. But that doesn't mean that the more time we spend delivering a project, the more information and eurekas we will have. Blaise Pascal, a 17th century philosopher, once said: “if I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”. As was the case with Novex and Assaí, clarity becomes synonymous with simplicity, and simplicity only arises after measured iterations, without any fuss! Guys, let's take it slow, because we're in a hurry!


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