Odd couples make for successful teams


In the first post of our Wholehearted Brand Building series, we touched on the difficulty of building an effective branding team. And in a world that’s getting more complex by the day, a team is essential to produce successful results.

If the thought of putting together and participating in a creative team fills you with dread then we sympathise. Collaboration can be a match made in heaven or a living hell. Putting together the right team is easier said than done.

But from our many years collaborating to build strong brands, we’ve observed that great teamwork comes from its members recognising their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as that of their teammates. Striking the right balance in attitude helps your brand building team to stay creative, productive and focused on achieving objectives.

Your team will need to carefully balance and amplify a range of such oppositional skills and talents.

Opposites attract

Bert and Ernie. Woody and Buzz. Rush Hour. Buddy cop films… There are many cases of odd couples who work well together despite their extreme differences. The same applies for branding teams.

Illustration of a cat in a business suit and a dog in cool clothes
A cohesive branding team need core traits such as organisation, attention to detail and enthusiasm. It also needs opposing qualities like risk-taking, resilience and an unfaltering vision for how to meet the demands of a brief.

A wholehearted approach amplifies one another’s skills, leading to effective branding that delivers on business objectives.

The strongest brands are born from deliberate conflict.

Even the odds

Think about your own strengths and weaknesses. Do you revell or revolt in chaos? Do you prefer taking risks or maintaining the familiar? Do you get energy from chasing your own ideas or being around other people?

It takes discipline for any individual to reconcile extremes within themselves and apply it to their own role. Rather than managing oppositions alone, we recognise that this reconciliation, when spread across groups of people, generates the healthy creative friction necessary to grind and polish a rough branding idea to its shiny end-state.

When assembling your brand building team, consider how opposition in character and competence can hit that sweet spot. Pair organised managers with chaotic-minded designers. Match to-the-point copywriters with emotionally charged art directors. Even plucky interns ought to exchange ideas with sagely CEOs.

Finding creative balance

When teamwork is balanced in this way, it’s reflected in the output. The work is more robust because it has been challenged, adapted and strengthened to cover more dimensions. The strongest brands are born from deliberate conflict.

Most companies will instinctively assemble teams of homogeneous specialists with similar backgrounds, thinking and approach. Not so in branding. A respect for the diversity of competence and personality of individuals, the free-flow of communication, and the variety of ideas generated all fuse together to create wholehearted teamwork that builds effective brands.

Key takeaway: Branding harmony emerges from healthy team conflict

Could your branding benefit from teaming with us? Drop us a note and share your needs.

Could your branding benefit from teaming with us? Drop us a note and share your needs.