Zoom In. Zoom Out. Success through the whole brand lens.

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The following article is reprinted from Barkley's State of the Whole Brand 2023 report.

Here’s the thing about vision: You can’t change what you don’t see.

And to see the big picture, you’ll need to press your nose against the glass of reality — zoom in, all the way. Hyper-focus on the minutiae for a hot minute or five.

Then, zoom out and up, 31 miles or so above Earth. Really work that lens. From the stratosphere, you can nearly see the future — and all the other things you thought were irrelevant details are in fact the very connective tissue that binds us all to each other. To our communities. To the planet.

Repeat frequently, at the exact right time.

Do this daily, and you might be a visionary.

Teach others to do this, and you might build a legacy.

Apply this mindset to your brand, and you could change the world.

As a metaphor, the concept of zooming in and out describes a dynamic capability that certain brands have in common: seeing their entire organization as a holistic system. We call these nimble experts of perspective whole brands: they know how to go deep and wide and when to zoom in or out on the parts and pieces that make up its ecosystem. They know the smallest details can be big ideas and powerful actions, especially if those actions impact the greater world.

Whole brands zoom along a spectrum of ideas — from business ideas to marketing ideas — to balance reactive and proactive decisions like it’s an art form. 

And for four years running, our data proves that whole brands win in the market. 

What’s the secret? A whole brand has a core idea that everyone gets and uses. That idea is a lens, a decision engine, and a shield to fight off shiny objects and peripheral opponents. This lens provides the focus you need to achieve greater short-term impact and a long resilient future. It’s how to juggle demands for both sustainable initiatives and cost-efficiencies. It’s how to win inside — with your employees — to win outside. It communicates to the world what the brand stands for, what it values, and how it acts and speaks, to its employees, customers, consumers, and communities. To all stakeholders. And it’s key to your success. 

Mastering the nimble art of zoom is an unfair advantage against fragmented brands, allowing you to figure out what you’re solving for, create structure in an unstructured environment, and distill complexity for simple yet powerful solutions.

Whole brands get it. 

We believe yours can, too.

Download The State of the Whole Brand 2023 Report.

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