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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Friday 16 May 2014

Building Brand for the Journey Ahead

The Open Road - For the journey ahead #0gt14

Here's how my head works.

I'm reading an article about how violence is not a product of mental illness when I see a Frank and Oak ad on the right side of the page.

What makes this add really stand out?  Why, the beard, of course.  The model's sporting one manly face carpet.

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Kinda like this gent on the right.

Mark MacDonnell is a serious dude with a seriously awesome, ZZ Top-worthy beard.  

Mark's a confident guy, comfortable in his own skin.  He commands authority with his presence, which is the look Frank and Oak was going for in their add.

This gets me curious, for reasons to be made clear shortly.

I go to Frank and Oak's website to suss out what they're all about, if their overall brand holds true to the emotional impression I've formed from their ad.

Turns out it does.

Innovation.  Entrepreneurial. Challenge Convention. Brand of Builders.

And my favourite - For the Journey Ahead.

Frank and Oak believes that every day is Day One - that's the mentality that keeps them motivated, keeps them open, keeps them moving.  They've got a mission to shake things up a little.

Which is, to a tee, what the Open Community is all about.

The tech geeks, civil servants and agents of change like Richard Pietro are all about breaking new ground, harnessing new tools and disrupting the status quo of government to build a truly responsible society with a matching Open Government.

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It's a long road, a challenging ride, but an adventure worth taking.  In fact, it's one we can't avoid.

This summer, Richard Pietro will be taking the sweet, sweet ride Mark's sitting on across Canada on an OpenGov Tour.  He's going to be exploring the country, connecting with its people.  He's also going to be spreading the word about what Open Data is and why it's such an amazing opportunity for Canadians of every rank and station.

Richard's a pretty confident guy.  He tends to have a beard, too.  And he's taking a motorcycle across the country, paving away for the journey ahead towards an Open Canada.

The connections form.  Frank and Oak represent the same basic theme as Richard and the OpenGov road tour, #OGT14.  They want to disrupt, to build, to innovate a community.  Those are the same themes that permeated yesterday's #GOOD14 conference.

How might we break down the walls that separate us, overcome the biases of the past and build an Open Community together?

Frank and Oak have the same basic mission; best of all, the look and attitude they champion is Richard's Road Trip personified.  Or vice versa.

Opportunity knocks.  A tweet gets sent.  

Now, Richard has a set of values that I respect a great deal and would never dream of challenging.  His tour is his, and his alone.  The message he carries is a universal one, but he is committed to not being a signboard for any organization.

Web Not War has provided him a great deal of funding for the trip because they believe in his mission, not for direct personal gain.  But they gain anyway, of course; altruism is really just selfishness that plans ahead.

There's an opportunity for Frank and Oak to do the same, building their brand along the way.

And the journey begins...

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