Total Branding: A Game of Two Halves

Fridrik Larsen, CHARGE Founder and CEO.

Every year since 2016 there is a corner or Reykjavik that becomes a hub of excitement as August turns to September. I am, of course, talking about our CHARGE headquarters, because this is the time we finalise our preparations for the world’s premiere energy branding event. These few weeks ahead of the event are like the final minutes of a football game, or the last few yards of an Olympic race.

This year, however, we have had to make a tough decision, and switch our event to a virtual format. But, the value of the event will not be compromised in any way, I am confident of that. To explain why I believe this will be the case, I am going to have to resort to another sport-inspired metaphor: total branding.

Now, there are those who remember the concept of total football, popularised by the Dutch national football team and the legendary Johan Cruyff. It meant that any player could play in any position, that he could take over the role of any other player in the team. This strategy requires technically diverse and capable footballers on your team.

Somehow, this concept sprang to mind as I was preparing for publication an interview with Michael Boumendil. You can read it in the current issue of our newsletter and on our blog. Michael, whom I had the great pleasure of welcoming to CHARGE as speaker, is one of those true innovators that has forever changed how we think about branding. Twenty-five years ago he had founded the world’s first agency dedicated to audio branding.

To understand the importance of his work, just think about all the sounds coming from mobile phones, laptops, apps, smart devices and virtual assistants, by which you can nowadays identify the device model and brand. Think of all the signature sounds you hear from PA address systems, in shops, while you browse the internet or watch TV. This branch of branding more or less came into existence with Michael’s agency Sixième Son (Sixth Sound).

With sound becoming part of the branding experience we can now talk about “total branding”. Or as Michael puts it in his interview “it makes the brand experience more appealing, richer.” Yet, there is also another way to think about branding in its totality. Coming up with the best concept in just one half of your branding (or rebranding) game. You also need your employees as brand ambassadors, they will be those capable players out there on the field.  In that sense, it really is a game of two halves.

At the risk of over-stretching this metaphor, I would suggest that there could even be “a third half”. And this is our CHARGE event – a place where you can find out about the latest developments in energy branding, from some of the world’s most influential practitioners. This is why I believe that this year the value of our event remains undimmed. Join us for CHARGE Virtual – a total branding experience!