Friday, December 19, 2008

Is winter a brand?

Spring is about emerging and fall is preparation – both dynamic brands. Winter, on the other hand, just is. Winter isn’t from anywhere or going anywhere. Winter is the here and now – our most existential season.

Winter’s brand traits are dignity and depth. There is majesty in winter that a frivolous spring day cannot match. Fall is too darn busy to pay attention. If the seasons were a royal court, winter would be king. (Fall would be chancellor of the exchequer.)

Winter has arbitrary power. If winter wants to close the airport and keep you waiting, well, there’s nothing you can do about it. On a whim winter will shut down your school. Snow day! – exhilarating words to a child – all thanks to a whim of winter. You don’t plan for a snow day. It just happens. You wake up, and the snow day is.

Winter reminds you to live in the present by breathing cold air down your neck.

Winter has presence. With benign intervention, winter surprises you with diamond-like sparkles in the light of a street-lamp. Winter’s chill reminds you to snuggle up with someone you love.

Winter’s counterpoint is summer – the Miller Light to winter’s Bud. You plan for summer. You have things you want to do in summer. You long for summer. You remember summer.

But winter just is. It is the season of being – not becoming. Winter settles into our streets and our bones and takes its own sweet time to make its meaning clear.



Mark True | Brand Warrior said...

But winter's brand dress is different in different places.

In some places, (Kansas City, Chicago, for example) it can be icy gray, and unforgiving. Here in Iowa, it can be fickle...gently dancing on the breeze, sparkling on the sunshine or blowing sideways on it's way to nowhere in a hurry! In Colorado and New England, it's green...the color of money.

Thanks for the thoughts.

-Mark True | Brand Warrior

Anonymous said...

One additional point about winter: More than any other season, it heightens our awareness of what it means to be "inside." Winter is something we venture forth into, then retreat from. It is as much about hot chocolate and warming fires as it is snow and ice. Reminds us that, for example, marketing a ski resort is partially about breathtaking vistas from perilous slopes, but mostly about bubbling hot tubs and dark lagers. Oh, and of course, the cuddling you mentioned earlier....watching "winter" happen from within double-paned glass...

Anonymous said...

All wonderful images. Since this soltice though, I watch the days get lighter, minute by minute ...

brandsinger said...

Dear Mark True -- Thanks for your insight, that "Winter's brand dress is different in different places." What a pleasing extension of the idea. To summarize from your excellent examples: Winter's brand is localized... tailored to meet the needs and tastes of each geographic marketplace.

Dear Anonymous -- Excellent thought about winter being experienced from the "inside"... By extension, can we say that it is experienced by ourselves as individuals... that it provokes self-examination and perspective as we huddle contemplatively over our hot chocolate staring at the mesmerizing flames.

Happy New Year to all.