rising tide lifts every boat

Brandscaping, the rising tide that lifts every boat

In 1917 Protestant laymen meeting in New York City meeting about the spiritual needs of the world had a driving slogan or watchword “for the other man.” In an overwhelming response to funding for the cause, Commissioner J. Horace McFarland said of the effort “the rising tide lifts every boat!”

Later, this aphorism (general truth) was rephrased and popularized in a speech written by Ted Sorensen and delivered by John F. Kennedy in the form of  “As they say on my own Cape Cod, a rising tide lifts all the boats.” Sorenson recalled that it was a motto he had seen on the letter head of The New England Council. It made its way first into the speech Kennedy gave in Frankfurt in 1963.

This motto has since come to describe the idea that improvements in the general economy will help everyone in that economy. I believe that it was this simple observation that informs much of Andrew Davis’s book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships.

Brandscaping at the Confluence

The general concept of Brandscaping is this: collaborate and cooperate with brands targeting the same audience as you. In this paradigm, these partnering brands are what I would call far competitors, meaning they share an audience with your brand, they compete, but only for their attention, not with offerings.

If your offerings compliment far competitors offerings, and their brand values fit well with yours, then why not…? Why not collaborate, cooperate and compliment? …especially at the confluence of a shared customer?

Brands that target the same audience as you

Brandscape-Anova-Field
Anova Culinary customer email about Field Company brand cast iron
I recently witnessed a great example of the art of brandscaping. As an avid hobbyist of the cooking style called sous vide (French for “under vacuum”), I cook nearly all of our proteins, as well as some vegetable dishes and desserts in this manner.  I own a device (actually own four) from a company called Anova Culinary (Anova). As a subscriber to their newsletter (recipes and offers), a recent one was all about a limited time offer to purchase “the best cast iron skillet money can buy” from a [supposed] limited supply of the Field Company cast-iron skillets. They presented it as an announcement of “our newest collaboration with The Field Company.”

Previous to this email, I wasn’t familiar with the Field Company (Field) brand. I suspect many others weren’t as well. And, I am pretty sure that many Field customers are not aware of Anova, and this is where the beauty of the brandscaping enters.

Bless those ingenious French and their delicious food-ology!

searing meat

Cooking meat sous vide requires a searing step for flavor and texture. This searing step can be done either just before or just after the vacuum-bath cooking. Cast-iron skillets are one of the most commonly suggested devices to sear meat. In a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, the searing process imparts extra (delicious) flavor to the meat via the pan’s seasoning, and this is in addition to the subtly sweet & savory flavor the browning creates (aka the Maillard reaction—French term describing the reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars from browned foods).

As you can see, the sous vide machine and the cast-iron pan come together as two parts of a complete culinary process, allowing two separate brands to share customers, without losing market share. Brandscaping at its finest.

Brands that target the same audience as yours.

Have you considered partnering with your far competitors? …those who share a target audience with you? While they compete for your ideal customer’s attention, they don’t compete with your offerings. If you have not, then this may very well be your next growth strategy.

Three things Andrew Davis the author of Brandscaping says you need to be a successful brandscapers

  • The confidence to invest in the content of others and the belief that their audience, no matter how small, is valuable.
  • The humility to believe that your customers care about more than just your products and services.
  • The willingness to pool your resources and share your audience with other brands to make your marketing budget go farther.

You can find Andrew’s book here: http://www.brandscapingbook.com/

You can find Andrew here (he is a fantastic speaker): http://www.akadrewdavis.com/

You can also find him here: http://monumentalshift.com/andrewdavis/

Good luck, be brave, and eat more meat—sous vide and seared of course!

Au revoir, or perhaps Bon appétit is more appropriate.