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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.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Brand and the Community Conundrum

Here's the conundrum; we live in a world that is sales-oriented; wealth, success, the capacity to make things happen all relies on sales and sales by and large relies on brand.

I know lots of successful salespeople - they sell one service, one Party or just themselves and do well at it.  They don't care about a big picture, unless it's how they can influence that big picture to the furtherance of their brand.

In some cases, even the most ardently community-minded organizations become cliquish, developing an almost colonialist mentality that places them and their community-shaping ways above and beyond those of any others.

Yet within these communities or even standing outside of any branded community are activists, hacktivists and organizers frustrated with the inefficiency in inefficacy of our brand/sales oriented system.  Silos are bad - they build walls between people and organizations that ultimately have the same goal.  Silos diminish that goal and put the brand first.

There's growing demand for something, some movement or new community that surpasses these silos and united people of different professions, political ideologies and social strata behind one widely-accepted vision of what, collectively, we can be - strong individuals for a strong society.

It seems to be that we can stand together, or brand alone.  If we don't brand, though, no one knows who we are - there's no way to cut through the fog without a clearly defined and loudly promoted identity, which leads to competition for attention and resources, which is the opposite of community.

But how do you build a community that doesn't naturally succumb to the trappings of brand?  What vision is clear enough, powerful enough to empower people to want to extend their hands beyond their shaded silos and reach for the sun?

I don't have the answer.  Not by myself.  But I think I know where we can find it.

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