The Power Of “The Power Of Intention”

We talk a lot around here about the importance of keeping clarity in our work and in our lives. This week we lost a real-life champion of clarity who helped a lot of people find meaning and inspiration day to day.

The passing of Dr. Wayne Dyer may not have garnered superstar media attention, but for all of us here at Cronin Creative, and for countless others who have benefited from his teachings, it is a very big loss indeed.

I first became aware of Dr. Dyer in the early 1980s. Back then, I was a full-of-myself, full time musician. So, of course, I had to have a day job. I was lucky enough to find one at a local bookstore, where Dr. Dyer’s first book, “Your Erroneous Zones,” was flying off the shelves. It is now firmly established as one of the bestselling “self-help” books of all time, but back then, as a cocky 20-something guitar player, I had no use for what I viewed cynically as “pop psychology.”

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Reasons We Love Lists (In No Particular Order)

Standing in the checkout line at my local grocery store the other day, I was struck by the magazines stuffed into the racks on either side of me. Fully a third of them sported headlines featuring lists –100 Best Beatles Songs of All Time, Hollywood’s Top Ten Leading Men, Five Ways to Lose Those Extra Pounds, etc. Just when I started wondering cynically to myself why people insist on having everything boiled down to something as simple as 1-2-3, I remembered what I was holding in my hand – a very long grocery list.

In the cluttered, crowded, media-mad world we live in, we need lists. Maybe that’s why they seem to be the number one way (oops, sorry) that people communicate in the blogosphere. Lists keep us together, on time, and on task, on a daily basis. They skim, they filter, they summarize, they distill. In a world saturated with more information than we can possibly begin to process, lists help us sort through the junk and get to the good stuff.

Lists also interrupt and engage on the newsstand. In a recent article in The New Yorker magazine, author Maria Konnikova suggests that sometimes it all comes down to numbers.

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Great Design Is Invisible

At Cronin Creative, we love our tagline – Clarity By Design – because it goes straight to the heart of our branding philosophy. So when I recently noticed an article entitled “Great Design is Invisible,” I had to check it out, and I’m glad I did. The insightful piece, written by Michael Wong (aka Mizko) for his blog (Mizko.net), explores the meticulously thought out design innovations behind Airbnb, Uber, Nest, and Disney World. It’s the innovative design operating in the background that makes these companies and their products so easy to use, so fun to interact with, and so phenomenally successful.

The most effective branding is similarly rooted in that kind of design. While never drawing attention to itself, great design presents the end user with a seamless-and-compelling experience while delivering a highly distilled, clear and compelling message. Whether it’s a product, a company, or an overall branding project, the goal is, as Wong says, “to create an experience which is so great that the design goes unnoticed.” In other words, Clarity By Design.

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Clean Out Your Attic

I cleaned out my attic recently, tossing away lots of unneeded stuff, ranging from old kid’s clothes to busted stereo gear to a couple of worn out old chairs. It felt good to just throw this stuff out and reclaim a formerly cluttered space.

In our jobs and in our lives, our brains can become a lot like that attic. A few months back, wrapped up in the laundry list of challenges associated with owning and operating a small business, I found myself waking up in the middle of the night thinking about work. Not good.

After returning (and recovering) from summer vacation, I revved up my workout regimen at the local Y. I also decided to reinstate a long-lost personal routine. Rising with the sun, I sit down to write what author/creative coach Julia Cameron calls “morning pages.” I basically “clean out the attic,” writing free-form to create some mental space, find some clarity, and quiet the constant chatter going on up there.

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Where Elegance Meets Eloquence

There’s something special about a great song. Everything flows and fits like a glove. A song like that offers a seamless blend, lyrics on the one side and music on the other. Two separate disciplines come together in a kind of creative soldering, conjuring up a third something, a new entity that’s more than mere lyrics and music – a song.

Great branding is like that. When clean, spacious design and finessed, highly distilled content come together in the right way, a similar alchemy takes place, and that third something emerges. We call it Clarity. It’s clarity that allows a brand’s message to truly rise above the clutter and impact the right target audience. You can’t say “Just Do It” without that Nike swoosh popping into your brain. Utter the words “Think Different,” and there’s that ubiquitous Apple.

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