Welcome to another »Horse Feed« episode. The second in a trilogy that has emerged over the past few weeks. My name is Michael Barthel, I am a brand developer and in this blog I do sparring with seahorse Willi about brands and communication. Well, the last episode was not so much sparring, but a monologue from my Love Brand. An inventory of the subject of willingness to change in general. I preferred to let Willi reflect on that alone. Pure self-protection, I would have been clearer than him. But Willi has a natural distance to some topics, which helps. Because he can help me as with so many things, I visited him on the official godfather’s day. I asked him how he puts my recent experiences with a few corporate brand ambassadors in mind. Blender or Brander? Do you know the difference? A smart seahorse may also help you sort through your thoughts.

Communication with people gets more difficult every day. That’s the sore point.

Make plans early on

»You, godfather, say: How is the situation at the top?« I want to know when he stands in front of me and looks through me almost stoically. I’m not talking about false care here, no. It’s hard for me to tell if he’s smiling because my godfather also went to Lecter fans and wears a mask. I see eyes that seem to be happy, but more than half of the face is missing – and asking about mood is an effective way to get to all the information hidden behind the mask. If he wouldn’t speak so indistinctly … Boy, boy, communication seems to be getting harder every day, with you humans. Or for you humans?

»Willi, old friend, I want to be honest with you as always: I have no idea what the situation is like at the top. I’m too far away Not to say too far down,« says the godfather.

»It’s not that bad, Coach. That way you are closer to me again,« I reply, without realizing how much truth and ambiguity there was in my statement.

»How is the situation with you, Willi?« He wants to know, but I don’t miss the fact that he owed me an answer to my question. Looks like he desperately needs some Love Brand sparring. A bit of lead by example, as he calls it.

So I reply: »With all the peace and quiet that we were able to enjoy here in the team … We have now dealt enough with ourselves and would be ready again for a little action. You know, otherwise we will get close to the crabs … We should make plans early on.«

»Sounds like you’re further along than most of us,« he jokes, and I hear a little cautious optimism in his voice.

»Aha, it seems we’re getting closer to the sore spot, huh? Are you a little pissed?«

»Listen, Willi, we mostly have manners, every slap in the face sounds like a ›Kumbaya-My-Lord‹ against it,« he waves his hand and rolls his eyes. Ha, this eyes thing he has from me – sparring rocks.

I, on the other hand, am a little grateful at this very moment that I have no ears. There’s nothing to slap.

Manners create a basis.
That can make the difference.

People are sensitive

Well, I wouldn’t be a Love Brand if I didn’t remember our training session on the subject of manners and didn’t know the decisive difference even small things in communication can make. Especially with regard to togetherness. Or for one another. For more crabs. Also.

Well, now I know: manners are not what brings crabs directly – but they create a starting point. A bit simpler, for you humans, formulated: First you get to know, then you rock. And it is also clear that whoever starts to cuddle immediately wears off quickly. As a little hint, because you humans are a bit sensitive to your skin.

»Okay, Godfather, let’s leave the etiquette aside. Because, did you seriously expect that what you screwed up over the last few years would be reversed in just a few weeks?«

»Let’s put it this way: I would have liked it.«

»Dumbass,« it slipped out of the mouth of the pipe.

»Shut up, Horse Feed,« countered the Love Brand strategist. There he was again, the godfather. He was definitely smiling now, because the corners of his mouth came out to the left and right of the mask.

But, we didn’t want to strain the issue of manners today. We wanted to do sparring …

»Go ahead, psycho godfather, after I haven’t met too much lately, you can talk a little more today. You look battered. Puked today?«

The high flyer usually has
the greatest distance
to reality.

3 extraordinary gentlemen

»You’re probably right, I have to take a breath first… Okay, watch out: I’ll give you a few examples from above. From gentlemen who I met as brand ambassadors. I’m curious what you have to say about it: Number 1: A blender … I had contact with a board member of a top-tier football club that is renowned in Germany. The club had come under massive criticism from its fans due to poor performance. I took the liberty of briefly recalling values ​​such as love, faith and passion. He reacted surprisingly to my initiative, even though I hadn’t addressed my message to him directly. In any case, in his reply – via email – he was very grateful for a few of my messages and offered me that we could talk to each other about it again at a later date, I would like to quote »very much«. In the next 8 weeks or less, he received a friendly request from me as to whether we could follow up on that. Result: no answer. Not even a no. 2 letters that are somehow more appreciative than none.«

»Maybe he doesn’t know the word no in his vocabulary?« I ask the godfather, who just shrugs his shoulders.

»Number 2: A howling buoy. A brewery owner who can sell significantly less beer this year because we really have no reason to celebrate and we are only allowed very, very limited from the top. Together with my fans in the network, after he asked for help on the Internet, we worked out a concept for him on how he can sell his beer elsewhere and also do something for the reputation of his brand. Result: no answer.«

»No Shalalalala either?! It could have been that he is now his best customer himself …«, a comment from an ignorant seahorse, because we draw our oxygen exclusively from salt water and not from alcohole.

»Number 3: A self-enamored man. An entrepreneur who, together with a musician and a doctor, developed a completely new type of product for coping with stress and asked for help on how to best communicate the messages about this product so that someone also buys it. In order to know which fans he would like to win over, where they can be found and how to inspire them, I developed a questionnaire and offered an interview. Only, the conversation never took place, the questions confused him instead of helping him, he wrote to me – again only after I asked again.«

»Did you ask awkward questions again, huh? If I could have told him beforehand…«

»I did. You know me. That shows me that they are the right ones. Because apparently there are no answers and no one has looked at it yet. One last example? Although I still have a few …«

»Thank you, I think I’ve had enough. Sounds like a couple of very extraordinary gentlemen who prefer to talk rather than act. At least that doesn’t sound like Love Brand.«

»Good point, by the way, I haven’t thought about it like that. In my examples, I was actually only dealing with men. And yes, you are right about that too: A Love Brand communicates differently. Completely different!«

Who would have thought it was so easy…

»Good point, by the way, I haven’t thought about it like that. In my examples, I was actually only dealing with men. And yes, you are right about that too: A Love Brand communicates differently. Completely different!«

»Hey godfather, I wonder who is coaching whom here now, but: do you have an idea who they are based on? I mean, if you’re not listening to a Love Brand coach, who are they listening to? To mainstream?«

»Probably to the top.«

»Honestly now: Which high-flyers are you talking about?«

»We call this ›government‹. Lots of self-appointed eminences and economic manners. Admittedly, elected by the people. In any case, those from the top tell the media every day how we have to help together, what matters and that this is the only way that everything will be fine and that we will only function again as soon as possible. I find it interesting that when they have finished their meetings themselves and appealed to us as a community, everyone at the top does what they want again. In the end, we are talking about a group who, at over 51 years of age, are on average seven years older than our average citizen. As a side note, almost three-quarters of them are men. In any case, they talk about a nation and think in terms of district boundaries. They talk about digitization and mean 3G and video conferencing. They talk about sustainability and mean applause from the balcony. They talk about internationalization and mean the countries in which we can go on vacation. They are so far from reality, you don’t believe it…«

»You seem to really like them,« I interrupt the godfather before he doesn’t stop throwing up. What – skillfully is skillfully – works once again par excellence.

Clean your mouth and go on – that’s my godfather. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, I add one more time: »Once again you did everything right with your visit to me: You take care of your Love Brand. Just get your bearings! Look down, go deeper boy … man man man! Hasn’t harmed you in the past either.«

Unfortunately, this is one of the moments that, due to the lack of eyelids, I cannot finally loosen up with a wink. Still, the godfather understands: »You don’t even know how right you are: the seas are recovering. Dolphins, whales, turtles … and of course the seahorses too, they use the time while they are busy up there.«

»Second. Does that mean I can get out of here soon? Will there be enough of us again soon and this exhibition is over?«

»Sorry, Horse Feed. I don’t know if they’ll give you that much time.«

»Shit. But okay, the fact is, it turns out once again that it is always good to orientate yourself on a seahorse. A quality label for a good atmosphere. So, godfather: Do you want to cling to those above or who or what do you want to orient yourself to?«

»Who would have thought it would be so easy after all… Of you, of course, my beloved horse feed. By the way, that brings me to a couple of other Love Brands: A film producer who wants to raise his brand like a rocket base. A student company that wants to lead city tourism and retail into the digital age with its brand. An ambitious woman who wants to revolutionize our diet with her brand and very special protein noodles. Willi, old Love Brand! I have to go, I’m needed. Thank you, I’ll have some more crabs brought to you!« He shouts over his shoulder while the godfather disappears in a Hannibal Lecter fan club swarm towards the exit.

Well friends what can I say. What has to go has to go. Then the sparring is also worthwhile: A thank you AND crabs goodbye … you see, the godfather already knows how to do it …

Sparring, dear Willi fans, brings so many good things with it: relief, orientation and fun, for example. And then at the end there are a few more crabs on top. Every brand needs sparring partners who have a different view of things. There is no such thing as »too old« or »too experienced«. There’s just poor communication in between. So if the Love Brand benefit  doesn’t have any effect »at the top«, then we’ll start at the bottom. In the underwater world, for example, where there are so many useful things to learn. After all, those who maintain balance AND evolve survived in the ocean. There are also hierarchies, including intolerance, there are big and small. First and foremost, however, there are many individualists – and that is what Willi and I will deal with next time: How do we turn individual people into Love Brands so that they can influence? There are a few insights from everyday life in the next blog article.

Food For Thoughts

For companies whose brand ambassadors are more than just blenders:

Love Brand Corporate ››