Simon Graj | Forbes
When Howard Schultz began tinkering with today’s Starbucks‘ concept in his chain Il Giornale, here was the spark: “We would take something old and tired and common—coffee—and weave a sense of romance and community around it.”
In his book Pour Your Heart Into It, Schultz goes on to say: “Nike is the only other company I know of that did something comparable. Sneakers were certainly a commodity—cheap and standard and practical and generally not very good. Nike’s strategy was first to design world-class running shoes and then to create an atmosphere of top-flight athletic performance and witty irreverence around them.”
Inspiration is really the beginning of anything – a brand included. You can’t create a vision without it. Nor can you fire up entrepreneurial spirit.
No great brand has ever been launched without genuine inspiration, often sensed at the outset with childlike simplicity. Inspiration leads to exploration, but in a meaningful, step-by-step way.
The simple flash of brilliance isn’t enough to go public. Your intuition has to go to work and perform due diligence on that appealing idea. A day later . . . a week later . . . is the idea sustainable? Does it have traction? Although number-crunching may have relevance later, I’m talking about how the idea first weathers the test chamber of your own gut.
Don’t be disappointed when ideas perish. Most will. After all, how many truly original, game-changing ideas can a single individual trigger in a lifetime? Read the language of intuition well, and you’ll save your energy for the fireflies that really matter. Real masters of inspiration are not just great at starting creative firestorms. They also know when to apply judgment and detachment. They demand that inspiration have the depth to be self-sustaining.
It takes considerable rigor and honesty to shift from being playfully ingenious to taking the temperature of that inspiration. Inspiration is a powerful language, but a silent one – a radar that roams our subconscious.
Any brand can begin with a lightning bolt. The ones that last demand tireless work to convert the sizzle into disciplined energy. Always be on the lookout for flashes of inspiration, especially in the seemingly commonplace. Then pay attention to the tiny details that become the heart of brand legends. “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing,” as Walt Disney famously mused, “that it was all started by a mouse.”