It continues with my blog »Horse Feed«, the seahorse badge for brand communication. We were already experiencing Willi’s initial skyrocketing as he looked at his brand essence. And how he can then roughly recognize the four most obvious identity features of a brand and use them for himself. It continues exciting, because the seahorse now wants to continue growing. This requires two things: fans in the team and fans of the team. A real Love Brand first communicates internally. That is part of good brand management.

In order to grow as a brand,
two things are necessary:
fans in the team
and fans of the team.

Search in your own ranks

You can’t really find serious arguments for the fact that we as seahorses absolutely have to be awarded for care and charity. Even if it can be described as an act of social uniqueness that we men do this baby thing. Knowingly that this is otherwise a total woman thing, we dance out of line. I have already stressed enough this unique selling point.

What I have been ignoring so far: It is also appropriate that we don’t care a shit as soon as the babies have hatched. That sounds tough, but it happens exactly this way. In exceptionally rare cases, we even let ourselves in for a new female immediately after fatherhood. Usually not. Well, that’s life.

From a purely charitable point of view, however, we seahorses only offer little potential to attract fan clubs.

So I think it’s a tactically wise way to advertise within your own style. Solidarity in our own ranks is, to put it bluntly, the most important thing. For more Love Brand, more quality, more identity – more CRABS!

Form a strong team

As we all know, some things in life are simply given. Like my doubles, they were suddenly there. Whether I wanted it or not.

In other words, I didn’t choose it. Shaping given things and making them his own requires a little more effort than carving out the candidates you want. It’s like the dream woman – she only exists in the thought bubble.

So how do I make my doubles my ambassadors? To fans? Either by me or at least by my goals – preferably of course both. Yes how? And why again?!

After all the insights and experiences, all the stories and findings, I would say that my godfather knows something about fan culture. In any case, from my fan culture. After all, he is member number 1.

And so this time the fan and Love brand once again don’t come across each other by chance. Known scenario: My godfather standing on one side of the glass. I on the other side, floating. Two worlds that have recently become one. Two perspectives that have changed each other’s world. Two partners who went on a mission together. Oh, if it weren’t so serious, history could drift into a weird romance here and now.

But the dialogue between humans and seahorses is probably sufficiently weird, so we just concentrate only on it: »Okay godfather, tell me: I intend to win the doubles as my fellow campaigners. First of all, I need a strong team. Only when that is done we will take care of our fans. Got it so far?«

»Sure«, says the godfather, »do you want to proceed traditional or modern way?«

»Why is that important – please don’t puff it up, it’s about every single crab. In fact, it’s about making five seahorses a team of crab recipients.«

»Do you want fans or followers?«

»Crabs.« Do I express myself so vaguely?

The way a brand advertises fans determines the type of fans
it attracts.

Spirit is crucial

Honestly, sometimes there are moments when I don’t understand why my godfather’s questions should be helpful. They distract from the essentials. Life is so easy, and he? Can’t he just answer: »This is how it’s done, swim over there, say this and that, then this and that happens.«?

Since we seahorses have no eyelids, I explained my following eye roll to the godfather as a misinterpretation: I did not want to express disinterest, but attention. All around.

»The way you do it together determines the type of fans you attract. Seriously, your team spirit will be crucial for whether you manage or shape together. Which spirit do you want to put in front of the window: Does the team need more crabs to grow as a Love brand or does the team need the Love Brand spirit to procure more crabs?«

It is the chicken and egg principle, known from the show farm. In the language of humans: what came first, roast chicken or breakfast egg? The question seems to me to be quite simple to answer. So far there are not so many crabs that I could use them to motivate my team with more and more. So what was there first? Well, me.

Willi is in the house. And surprisingly, eggs play a big role again. It is less about the order in which they are used. It’s more about how-they-are-used. Nothing seems to work without eggs: even the long-awaited solution is called Columbus’ egg.

How good that eggs were part of my brand from the start. So folks, the Horse Feed takes over the future of seahorses from now on. In a figurative sense, of course.

The lowest common denominator of a team is obvious.
The greatest common denominator lies in the difference,
how the obvious is seen.

Communication is a process

While my long distance swimming over the full 30 centimeters, away from the sponsor over to the doubles, I had a good 15 minutes to think about my opening. There is no second chance for a first impression – not even for a Love Brand. I need a team behind the brand. So I am ready to contribute everything from my brand: identity, conviction, values, principles, role and function, appearance, behavior, culture and of course my incredible gift of appreciative communication. You don’t know this gift? Ha, just learned is learned. Ask my godfather.

Back with him after the interview with the doubles, my head is empty, as is my battery. What I have experienced in the past minutes or maybe hours was horrible. To get to the point. To turn five seahorses into one Love Brand, I did myself a disservice. The godfather calls it: process.

The fact is that trying to explain to other seahorses that they are just like you makes as much sense as offering riding courses under water. It is also a fact that the lowest common denominator is obvious: because not every mouth is equally focused on crabs. The greatest common denominator, on the other hand, lies in the difference, which is actually contradictory. To be precise, in the individuality of how each individual wants to get involved or benefit.

Everyone is part of the whole

Now please don’t get me wrong, it is not a bunch of individualists, where everyone does their thing and ultimately hopes to be successful in the collective. Rather, there are individual approaches as to which aspects of a Love Brand address fans more and which are less important. Which qualities are used, which are required. In our case: who is representative, who is not.

Yes guys, no shit, we said to ourselves who we want to send to the window, who should rather stay behind the seaweed. Quite bluntly. That was the point at which I understood that I could only use seahorses in the team that see themselves as part of a whole – that includes me. Otherwise nothing, but nothing at all, will change. Except maybe that in the medium term things will bring us closer and closer to the mainstream.

How did this insight come about? Not through the godfather. No.

Inner peace.

The panda I met at the zoo came from Asia. He had given me this tip – »inner peace, that’s the secret,« he kept saying. And since talking to the doubles, I’ve finally understood what he meant.

Inner peace.

None of the four doubles was like me. All are seahorses, even of the same species, from the same region, in the meantime even from the same aquarium. And yet everyone was very different: The oldest seahorse, for example. From my point of view it is difficult to make it become enthusiastic about new campaigns, but because of its lifetime it is an expert in seahorses. That is, an eminence with acceleration deficits. The youngest seahorse in the group, on the other hand, was available for every offense, but in implementation, no bearing, how. A racehorse without a fixed route, so to speak: nobody comes behind and nobody knows where it can end.
Well, and the other two represented the rough average in terms of age. One little horse a little younger, the other one little more experienced. One authoritarian that seems to know exactly how the rabbit runs and that also tells everyone. One extremely factual, which seems to know exactly how fast the rabbit has to run for victory, and does the math for everyone.

Plus me. Imagine that as a package.

Yeeeees. Inner peace.

One needs rules, the other wants to make rules, the third does not care about rules, the fourth cares about the rules of others and the fifth in the team joins the majority. Especially when it is 2-2.

Inner peace.

Everyone realized that we only work together, for each other. They all accepted that Willi, that is me, is driving the Love Brand that is at stake, otherwise they would have been put in the pool first. They all understood that they were part of the Love Brand. If only one of us messed up the performance, it casts a bad light on everyone. Well, it is not particularly bright either way with us – but very dark is really bad. Have you ever found a Love Brand in a dark room?

Exactly. Inner peace.

Create a fun atmosphere

Yes, this is needed. On the one hand with myself; this gave me the peace of mind to understand how to tackle my doubles when it comes to a successful performance. And on the other hand, inner peace is important in the entire team, you could also speak of harmony – when it comes to quality performance. Simple equation: If you have inner peace, you have an outside party. If you have a party inside, you will definitely have a disco pogo outside. And it was with this granted wisdom that I confronted my godfather.

»Whoever creates a mood is a follower. Anyone who creates atmosphere is a fan,« I can distinguish, he says. You can work with both types, but you only want to work with one type.

»My words exactly,« I say, because it’s good to feel right from time to time, even before you understand what the other one actually means.

Anyway, I want to work with the four doubles. And now I can do that too. Because we have agreed on different definitions of success but on a common goal. Because we all know what it’s about and what each individual needs.
Some are more concerned with rules, others more with fun.

So we fixed the fun.

Awesome. Now we can take care of more fans, then again more seahorses, then more crabs. And we play this game as long as there are seahorses.

»The game is called Love Brand,« the godfather  does the smartass before leaving.

*Sigh*

Inner peace.

So the Love Brand team is growing. We owe this to Willi because he approached his doubles fearlessly, not without prejudice and in a goal-oriented manner and was able to win them over for a common purpose. Now they’re working together. At least they start with it. However the Horse Feed did it, we have a team. And that’s great because no brand can grow alone in the long run. It takes orientation, impulses, experience and much more. And inner peace of course … That means a Love Brand communicates from the inside out. First the team, then the fan. That strengthens the brand because it makes it look more stable. It doesn’t matter whether the future fan should become an ambassador or a customer. It’s getting exciting now because the Love Brand is no longer just a product brand, but also an employer brand. A conflict of interest? Not at all.