The More You Know the Less You Know

blog brand creation branding entrepreneur tips intellectual property Jun 07, 2022

Aristotle famously said ‘The more you know, the more you realise you don’t know.

In the context of the work place we are all expected to know a lot about our subject, by developing specialist skills. This is how we become more productive in the increasingly complex world we live in.

While specialisation works well it has some drawbacks that people may not always appreciate. When you draw from the narrow mental model of a specialism the danger is that you miss the bigger picture because you’re only getting a partial view. Other disciplines may have as much, if not more of a bearing on issues your specialism touches.

Mental models are how we understand the world. They enable us to simplify complexity. They shape what we think and the connections we notice between disciplines. Broadening one’s perspective is the way to take account of how the world really works.

Branding is a broad subject where specialists need to come together, each working within their own specialist discipline to collaborate on projects. Some agencies are realising that better collaboration comes from developing a broader perspective in their teams. They are finding ways to help their creatives to understand strategy and strategists to understand creativity. A greater understanding of others’ contribution to the project enables teams to work better together.

However, what is missing in the branding industry, and something I’ve been trying to change over the last 10 years is an appreciation of how IP impacts branding. The perspective of designers and marketers creating brands needs to take account of IP.

Branding professionals often portray IP lawyers as negative, which some of them may be, but I suspect the truth is that the industry doesn’t understand IP law and blames lawyers for being negative when in reality the problem is their own failure to understand the legal rules impacting choices of name and other identifiers.

A wider perspective on IP would help branding professionals to better communicate and collaborate with lawyers. By the same token IP lawyers who now focus on their narrow specialisms in the law would benefit from learning more about what branding entails so they can provide broader support to business owners and branding agencies.

That’s the thinking behind the Brand Tuned Accreditation program which is all about developing multi-disciplinary skills. It considerably develops the ideas from my Brand Tuned book and is focused on the needs of early stage businesses creating new brands. Broadening one’s skills may seem at odds with the increasing tendency of modern-day work to purely specialise. But developing greater breadth of skills actually makes specialists more relevant.

Do take a look at the Brand Tuned brochure to find out more why developing multi-disciplinary skills is the way to stand out among your competitors. Let me know what you think.

On another note pending the launch of series 6 of the Brand Tuned podcast, we are reposting some previous episode, and this week the spotlight is on David Aaker’s interview.