Prelude: Playing with Brands

Until I met and then later worked with Duncan, I had seen brands fulfilling a conventional marketing role as opposed to being the heartbeat of a business. Once I had become familiar with his philosophy and the way in which he worked with brands, I started to see things differently. Taking a brand dream perspective is like putting an enterprise on the psychiatrist's couch to find what really makes it tick. It provides an ordered way of testing the status and health of any brand and I began to play what-if? games based on the questions that the brand dream model poses. Here is one example.

One of my passions is music. Like all musicians, I am choosy about the instrument I play because I know that it makes a telling difference, psychologically as well as physically. If you are happy about the tone and sound quality you produce and feel comfortable with the way an instrument handles, then it adds immeasurably to your confidence as a player. After all, the instrument is an extension of you as a performer.

Ultimately, selecting an instrument comes down to how a particular horn feels and sounds when it is in your hands, and how you perform together as a unit. As a sax player, I have always taken a close-to-obsessive interest in everything to do with the main brands in the marketplace. I want to know about their origins, the people behind these companies, who else plays the same saxes, feedback from instrument repairers who strip them down and keep them running, ...

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