I’ve been a big fan of Michelangelo’s for years – so much so that printed on the back of my business card is one of his famous quotes to serve as a branding reminder, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
As legend has it, the quote was attributed to Michelangelo, when someone asked him how he created his David masterpiece.
I find the quote inspiring when it comes to solving brand marketing challenges for new and older established brands as well.
It’s amazing to me that Michelangelo began his epic work on the 17 foot David when he was 26 and finished a mere three years later when he was 29 and his masterpiece has lasted and been admired for more than 500 years.
When I take on a branding engagement for one of our clients, I’ll often reflect on Michelangelo’s quote about David, I’ll ask myself questions such as…
- What is this brand’s true, singular essence?
- What is it’s core reason for being?
- What problems does it solve?
- What were the creators’ reasoning for creating it in the first place?
- Why should someone care and what’s its story
- What is its dramatic difference and how can it be demonstrated
What Michelangelo was saying was that he saw the potential of the marble – yes, the angel was inside – all he simply needed to do was chip away the excess.
How many brands – maybe even yours – started as a beautiful angel, but over the years became encased in marble and weighed down with other product lines, features, price discounts etc.,?
I see it all the time in restaurant marketing with establishments that have huge menus, but do not do a single thing well – let a lone remarkable – and have no signature dishes you’d drive 20 miles to enjoy and pay full price.
When you look deeply within a brand or yourself for that matter you’ll see an angel emerge too – if you you hard enough.
Do it. And then, do everything in your power to help your angel soar!
If you do, I assure you that your “David” will be a Giant slayer!