Fire Your Brand Strategist (And Hire Your Uber Driver)

What do you do? No, not how YOU say it, how does someone who really loves your work describe what you do?

People don’t have to be official brand consultants to act like brand consultants. We just have to find the people who act that way and then ask and listen.

Jack Sim* likes to tell a story about how taxi drivers are the world’s best brand consultants. It’s because they want the short and direct name to get people where they want to go. He cites these examples of taxi drivers fixing names:

  • The Singapore Zoo was originally called the Singapore Zoological Gardens.
  • The Changi airport was originally called Airtropolis.
  • The Singaporean government thought Marina Bay might need a new image, so they hired consultants to consider new names. After an expensively thorough study, they suggested… just leaving the name as Marina Bay because it’s what everybody calls it.

When we ask someone what we do, when they’re someone who has benefitted from our results, they cut right to the chase. Like a good taxi driver and a great brand strategist, they get the people to where they want to go.

Much like what our cab drivers already knew in the examples above, we want our offering to be just as simple. We want the words to frame the work without any distracting fluff.

By all means, hire a brand strategist when it’s necessary. There are things only they can do.

But, remember to listen to how users and clients and beneficiaries of what we do describe their experience to others. In most cases, they will tell it exactly like it is, and that’s exactly what we want to tell others too.

*of World Toilet Organization fame, look him up if you don’t know him, he’s amazing

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