Branding and the art of handstands

Jamie Warren branding handstandWhen was the last time you tried to do a handstand? Was it when you were a child?

I’m not usually a “handstand out of the blue” kind of guy.

My family jokes that there is “Business Jamie”, and “Fun Jamie”.

I’ve been told I can be a little intense in business.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance branding plays in the success of our clients. Too few organizations have the guts to say “I’m different, and here’s why.” I’m not advocating being bold just for bold’s sake – but rather, standing out, and then backing up that claim with a promise you can deliver.

In my recent musings about what we do, I’ve been thinking that in 2012, I need to really challenge our client brands. Help them turn things upside down more.

“Turning upside down” makes me think of Crossfit, to which I’ve become quite addicted in recent years.  One of the core elements of Crossfit is gymnastics.  The handstand is something I recently learned to do—I was no wunderkind.  It has hurt along the way.  I have failed repeatedly in its pursuit.  But it’s shown that new strength comes with the right effort.

It’s a nice photographic metaphor for what we do at Forté.  And, it sure is closer to my personal essence than I’ve been in a long time.  Even my wife agrees.

Maybe it’s time you rethink your brand essence for 2012– even if it means doing a handstand.  Happy New Year!

Jamie Warren is the President of Forte Marketing Group, a branding agency in Birmingham, Alabama. Check out more of Jamie’s “Braver Branding” series at