February 20, 2019

The Importance of Research in Branding: The Problem of the Flying Monkey

Why the flying monkey?

Yes, enthusiasm is the main driving force behind any business idea, allowing you to transform it into reality. But sheer willpower alone cannot turn your regular chimp into a flying monkey.

Too absurd? Think of how many people around the world were at one point in time considered certifiably insane for nothing more than their ideas which seemed to be too “out there.” If some of them had given up, we would not be able to travel to outer space, have google, or simply take a warm shower.

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

Some of those inventors and entrepreneurs were wealthy, some poor, some had help, and others had to stand alone. But they had at least this one thing in common – they were all exceptionally curious.

Today we have the advantage of having almost all information available at our fingertips, but we sometimes fail to explore. We get carried away with the awesome power of inspiration and devote most of our time to crafting a plan of action, focused on what will become of our brilliant spark.

How the flying monkey?

I know, it sounds awful and mind-numbingly boring when someone tells you that you “need to do your research” before and while you develop your cunning plan. Why not put a spin on it, then? Are you REALLY that enthusiastic about your flying monkey?

Then sit down and ask all the questions you can think of, so that you can understand who would benefit from this idea of yours, where you can put it to use, and how you can evolve it through time. But your idea should not and cannot be the only focus of your plan, since every good flying monkey requires a lot of hard work, extraordinary thinking, and patience.

Research means learning about who and what is already out there, to see if what you have to offer is new and original. If the concept itself is similar to opening

a new bakery in a place where people already have three hundred of those, then perhaps add an element of surprise (and this is where flying monkeys come in extremely handy). Make it more appealing than what others offer, because you must have something that will make you stand out. Otherwise, your idea will never become a brand.

Also, before you do the research, your idea might seem impossible, boring, useless, or you might deceive yourself by thinking that it’s simple and perfectly doable. This is why research is the step you take before you take the business leap, and the step you continue with while you’re diving into your adventure and all the way through its existence. And I don’t mean just googling stuff.

What of the flying monkey?

If you want your brand to endure the pressure of not only modern times but also the unpredictable future, you will need to build it from a strong basis that will stand up to any scrutiny.

Whether you are an experienced business person or a newbie in the world of start-ups, and no matter how complex or how small your plan is, the truth is very simple: knowledge is power.

If you perceive learning and research as grunt work, you will never have fun. And business should be fun. Every idea should, in its essence, have a flying monkey. The difference between those who will envision a monkey with an actual, operational pair of wings, or on an actual flying carpet, or learning the commands to fly an airplane, and those who will stick the monkey in a cage, put him on a plane and say “there’s your flying monkey” will always be that the first group has curiosity. And they are the ones who make a difference.

Finally, if you want your brand to be truly a Brand, to stand out, and be remembered and loved, your curiosity should stem from more than the initial enthusiasm of the notion of the flying monkey. Make it last. And make it count. That way, the questions you ask along the way will never dry up, they will only help you evolve your idea and further your success. And this growth and progress will never become a burden. You will always find a way to enjoy it.