If you’ve been playing along at home, you know that lateral thinking is sort of my thing. Why? Dozens of reasons. Because it leads to creative solutions. Because mental play strengthens thinking skills. Because it can introduce new life into existing narratives…
Because sometimes, it’s hilarious.
Don’t believe me? I have a wonderful new example. Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky, to the fine and ancient city of Manchester in the northwest of England.
But first, a quick heads up. This story is slightly off-color. And deeply immature. Which is exactly why it made me laugh. Continue reading
There’s always time for lateral thinking.
In previous Thought Experiments, I’ve asked you about everything from coffee to evil. But as a card-carrying nerd (No, really — I have a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent ID I got from the Marvel Experience, and if that isn’t a nerd card I don’t know what is), I think it’s time we got down to the good stuff.
Oh, comics. How I love you. From the goofiness of the Golden Age to the grittier-than-thou late 80s and 90s, that four-color art form warms my heart. Cliche monthly titles or sprawling graphic novels that challenge the form. Sophisticated storytelling like Neil Gaiman’s epic Sandman. Insightful coming-of-age work like Ted Naifeh’s Courtney Crumrin. Inspiring brilliance like Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel. And I can’t forget artists and inkers…
I’m going to stop before I start babbling.
Comics are having a serious pop culture moment, and they owe a lot of that success to the idea of the superhero. There are all sorts of other stories, of course, but when we think of comic books, we think of fluttering capes and quips made under pressure and feats of superhuman coolness.
So here’s the experiment: If your brand was a superhero, who would s/he be? What sort of costume, powers, and backstory would set him or her apart from the others? Maybe your brand is a driven anti-hero detective. Or a conflicted beacon of righteousness. Or a compassionate, regal visitor to the world of men.
Why would I ask this?
Because you, buddy, ought to be thinking about what makes your brand unique.
Go ahead. Give it a think. See what you get.
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Tagged Batman, branding, comic books, communication, Golden Age comics, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Lateral Thinking, marketing, narrative, Neil Gaiman, storytelling, superheroes, Superman, Ted Naifeh, thought experiment, Wonder Woman