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What Mr. Rogers Teaches Us About Branding

Written by: Matthew Kirdahy | Water & Wall My fascination with the life and times of Fred McFeely Rogers, or “Mister Rogers” as he’s known, is rivaled only by my fanaticism with Bob Ross. Nonetheless, we relaunched our brand this month and discussion of Mr. Rogers, these days, is apt, which is why it makes complete sense that I tell my neighbors what cardigans, Make Believe and whimsy have to do with our business. This is what Mr. Rogers teaches us about branding. 1. “Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go.”Our co-founders Scott and Andrew, who are enmeshed as influential executives in the operations and growth of our business since they first opened the doors in 2012, represent who we are, but also what we want to become. As the parents of this company, you might say, they recognize the importance of change and adaptation to get ahead of and react to challenges in the business environs in which our clients work. To do that we have to have the people who represent traditional services as well as those who are familiar with more progressive offerings. The people who started Water & Wall are make their mark across both. 2. “The story that we bring to the screen, whatever we happen to be watching, we bring our own story and consequently it’s like a dialogue.” … “What we see and hear on the screen is part of who we become.”He’s talking about the most popular medium of his day and that’s TV, of course. In the undercurrent of his point are the waves of influence. We are all impressionable and the right message finds us all via the right medium, or channel, at the right time. We understand that interacting with our intended audience will vary – from talent recruitment to new client partnerships – but we also understand that we have that power to influence a decision with each interaction. 3. “The best teachers in the world love what they do and just love it in front of you.”This is not about loving your day job above all things. The whole love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life? Yeah, not this. This is about enthusiasm and passion and care factor that extends into everything that you do because people want to be around people who are smart and nice. It’s often that simple. Some of the best teachers taught the driest and most sophisticated topics like they were binge worthy. In an age of excess – particularly as it pertains to content since we’re marketers – the measure of good content is a willingness to take in an entire Netflix season in a weekend. It’s like good ideas. We’ve got those. 4. “Deep but simple.”This notion of keeping a message and its components simple has shown itself in marketing circles often of late. People who share this wisdom, caution against “dumb” or “stupid,” which one supposes that this is peoples’ association with simple these days. It’s as if you can’t be smart in the process. This is where depth factors. You should be able to say in so many words who you are and what you do. This gets us to the why rather quickly. For us, the depth is in the people at our seven-years-young agency and the experiences they create for our clients. If not for the people, there wouldn’t be a Water & Wall. I think Mr. Rogers said something about that, too.Related: 7 Ways to Boost Awareness of Your Brand