Strategy and Sausages:
A British Strategic Planner in Germany
Friday, 9 November 2018
I've always been proud of being something of a mongrel as far as my DNA goes, but now I can officially call myself a hybrid, with dual nationality - British (my Heimat) and German (my adopted home).
I do notice that this mongrel business is getting more and more on-trend with people proudly presenting their pick 'n mix DNA credentials on social media. And products and brands are going for it too - there's a huge push in the world of whisky to re-elevate the blend as something special in its richness, for example in this ad from Chivas:
I'm not entirely sure what that says about single malts (or the people who drink them) but never mind.
The lady at the Standesamt told me I could be German in Germany and British in Britain. I don't know - I think the other way round is more fun. Or perhaps I can be best of both, wherever I am. Or a humourless fat slag who can't cook if I'm merely feeling spiteful and perverse.
Getting back to brands, it occurs to me that all-too-often, simplicity is confused with clarity. Simplicity in the sense of straightforwardness, obviousness, a sort of inoffensive homogeneity, without Ecken und Kanten, as we say in German.
A brand to me can have clarity or coherence, yet still be rich, have paradoxes and contradictions, many facets, yet you can perceive and appreciate its wholeness. It may well have a one-word equity, if you're into that, but that word itself may have many facets and nuances, and be brought to life in many contrasting moods and styles.
This quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald seems apt here: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."
Let's try out my ability to function with that Chivas.
When I was little, I wanted to be a spy. I got off to a good start, studying Psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge but somehow got side-tracked into the wonderful world of advertising and marketing.
My children's books: