Today the final article awaits you of the series »Horse Feed«, the blog about people, brands, communication and a seahorse. Seahorse is called Willi, and it has had both successful and tough weeks. We worked together to find out how brands and their fan cultures can be developed. The little things decide how you perceive your own brand or how it is perceived by your fans. In the 17th blog article by »Horse Feed« Willi receives his seahorse badge in brand communication. The end of the beginning of the success story is written. What’s next? In the end you can decide for yourself.

A Love Brand is everything:
sitcom, love story, adventure, horror and also
a little bit of comedy.
And all with a happy ending.

Work ahead, learn to trust and accept help

Bugger me, those were days. Weeks. Months. From sky high cheering to the biggest crisis of my kind I know. I find myself amused at swimming through the many crabs that are now romping around in my pool again. Emphasis is on again. One last thing about the crisis: Play hide and seek doesn’t work out. The crisis finds you. Always. Because it’s not that you can just say, »Hey crisis, I don’t see you, then you won’t see me.«

So, let’s face it.

Let’s make it short: Three things were decisive for the fact that crab instead of crisis is back today: We had done good groundwork, we trusted each other – and we asked for help. We, that’s my team and me. Including the godfather. Crisis recognized, crisis averted. There is really nothing more to say at this point.

Rather, the common listener should now listen to a laudatory speech that describes in a worthy, appreciative and meaningful way what I have accomplished in the past few weeks. I, Willi the First…

What started with a »Horse Feed« drawn from a Disney film developed into a Hollywood-like staging of a brand. At least I think so. We had sitcom, love story, adventure, horror and probably some comedy too. And in the end we have the happy ending – me, the Love Brand. A fish called Willi.

I’m a little excited because everything that is going to happen in the next few minutes will be brutally exciting. I meet the godfather for the final interview. So much can be said in advance, even if it is the last episode in which he gives me his voice, it will not be the last meeting between him and me. We are now only going to the non-public part. The part that we will handle very discreetly and confidentially for data protection reasons.
But we are not yet ready. I still turn in a circle on the spot, enjoy the salt water in the gills and a crab in my mouth.

Statements of a Love Brand:
I’m proud.
I’m quality.
I’m me.

Be yourself

Yes, today is the end. And what did I dress up for it? Well, okay, actually I look like always, I just blown all the grains of sand from the seahorse body under the water nozzle in the pool. One important finding: I learned that you dress up when you receive an award when I once again became a silent listener to a women’s conversation. They talked about a prom, grace, beauty and elegance. Okay, actually they just talked about their closets and what to wear. For humans, however, the two were pretty, so grace, beauty and elegance take place in my head cinema. Now, logically, I want the cinema for my prom.

Today I get the seahorse badge – I learned to swim as a Love Brand. The godfather will come in my honor today and testify to me publicly. Shit, what am I talking about here, it all gets off the time of his laudation on me.

When I get to the window, my dorsal fin is going crazy. Because the godfather is already there. Looks like always, but what should I get upset about? After all, it’s not his prom.

Inner peace comes in, the chest goes out. I position myself, receptive to a hymn of praise that is radiant. I smile at the godfather. I am proud. I am quality.

I’m me.

Brands develop
with their fan cultures.
Not because.

It only works with and for each other

»Willi, congratulations, you have what it takes to stay a Love Brand for years. Trust me, I know it.« The godfather smiles at me, I smile back.

21, 22, 23, …

The godfather smiles at me, I smile back. 24, 25, 26, …

The godfather is still smiling at me, I no longer smile.

»Um, that’s it?« I ask carefully. I can hardly imagine that it should have been the laudation. We spent hours, days, weeks, months together and all he can think of at the end is: Congratulations, stay that way, will you?

27, 28, 29, … Wow, that’s obvious. Nothing comes from outside. A smile frozen in the face, I could count to 100 and the still picture in front of me would not change.

Impressive, he is a speaker, the godfather. Pffff.

Well, either way, it would be too late to ask the trust question. Can my godfather be disciplined at all? Hm, I don’t care, to be honest.

The fact is, I trust what he says. He knows what he’s talking about. Never before have I been able to communicate so freely as a seahorse. In a total of 17 episodes, it was just about me. About teaching a fish how to become and remains a Love Brand.

It is therefore a matter of giving him attention, space and appreciation to the same extent.

»Thank you.«

21, 22, 23, … I smile at the godfather, he smiles back. Nobody needs to count further, because everything is said.

Who really wants to know all the details of what our cooperation, our collaboration, and our mutual relationships looked like? Who needs abundance of recognition … I know how productive I am. I know the team spirit that I sparked. A fan base the size of the Great Barrier Reef supports me and provides me with attention. And crabs. I know how I will maintain or use this network so that it stays that way for a very long time. It only works with each other. It only works for each other. It only goes together. It is not without focus.

And that’s it. Who wants to know exactly what it means to benefit from each other – the importance of conflicts, communication, rhetoric or even feedback and a culture of debate? Honestly, who wants to know that? To weigh up the mutual benefits at the very end, that would be inappropriate, don’t you think?

Celebrate your success

You know what? Ask him if you want to know. As much as I would really like to talk to him, I don’t have that much time either. We have been silent long enough and communicated telepathically. I want to go. I promised my team that we would celebrate success together today. Guess what’s waiting for me when I turn around? Correct!!

Reading was good for you. I can tell you learned as much as I did.

A good feeling and great knowledge to leave the stage. I slowly turn away, I smile again. And yet I look over my shoulder one last time before the big party and see the godfather for the celebration of the day – surprise – holding a gingerbread cookie in his hand.

»Time for you to go,« I say sharply to him and would wink if I could. But he also understands me that way. »There are still many out there who want to earn a seahorse badge … Although, do I really want to know how many other Love Brands you have left elsewhere?«

»Time to go,« he replies and laughs, »I actually still have an appointment with one of my Love Brands today. I will read a story to children tonight.«

»Hopefully the story is longer than the laudation.«

We both laugh.

»No joke, godfather, you’re such a reader, aren’t you?«

»Absolutely right. I prefer to read the success stories that I wrote myself… With all the appreciation of the really good story writers out there.«

Storyteller in the shark tank, he can tell the freshwater fish, but who cares? Who wants to know?

Come to the club

»Willi,« he makes the final attempt to say goodbye, »remain authentic. Please. Be yourself, everyone else is already existing«.
Aw, the godfather and his tips. And always the last word. Did you never notice that? Then it’s time for you to get to know him. Or come to me – I will be happy to tell you more about what I have and will experience. There is still a lot to come, I feel it. Everyone can decide for themselves whether it works or not. As well as how many Love Brands you have. You can have as many as you want, I should be among them, that’s clear…

I wish you a few permanent Love Brands and also fans who are aware of their responsibility as ambassadors.

If I am aware of one thing, becoming a Love Brand, being and staying has something to do with fun. And with who benefits from me and my product. Better what benefits both sides have and what I can trust.

Trust me, I did it. I did the seahorse badge for brand communication. I became a Love Brand on my own.

Oh, and one more thing: we all benefit from quality. From impeccable water anyway. Of crabs or bucks too, right?

Heard you wouldn’t exist without clean water.

So, what should I say as a closing word?

I have an idea: Welcome to the club!

Dear seahorse friends, dear fans of Willi and exceptional brand communication, it is time to let go. »When the leader’s work is done, people say we did it ourselves,« said Laotse centuries before Christ was born. We are at this point. And that makes me proud. Which doesn’t mean that I stop taking care of Willi. No way. I just let him decide when and how he uses my help. That now gives me time for the next step: which stories do you write, which do you want to write, which brands do you love, which do you want to develop? What relationships are profitable for you? I want to start chatting with you. I would like to know which of your products cannot speak and need a voice. Who or what benefits from you – or your product? I am convinced that non-speaking products can only be sold through those who can speak. Of those who care, who are attentive. All products in the world are as diverse, comparable and interchangeable. Your stories don’t. Talk to me about your brands. Let us build, develop and see them grow together. And maybe you will provide the content for the next blog article …

Food For Thoughts

Don’t you think it is time that we talk to each other personally and do something for each other? Here’s the start of your own Love Brand story:

Let’s talk ››