There’s something not quite right with messaging.

[Don’t get your hackles up, please.  We’re not maligning words or choices or their arrangements.]

In every map, every grid, every page in which we capture the essence of a business, it falls flat.  Sure, we can add emotional words, even exclamation marks (though save us from too many).  Yet the story is somehow lacking.  Words alone aren’t working … at least, for us.

Of late, we’ve been applying an idea from the design world.  Which is, the creation of mood boards, once assembled from a bunch of oversized, colorful magazines, even photography books.  With a glue stick, scissors and a generous foam core board, a collage develops that reflects themes and a vague essence of feeling.  Interior designers, artists, creative directors, fashion folks use these liberally; in fact, they guard the completed boards with their lives, keeping them ultra-confidential until the project has been revealed. 

So what stops us – communicators and branding experts – from starting our stories this way?  It connects the heart and the brain.  It helps coordinate a corporate tale.  And it quickly lets others know exactly where we’re going.  Yup, a series of pictures (yes, with words) relates the beginning and middle and ongoing events that make up a business’ life.

No Moody blues, here.