Currently, my company is urging us to create ‘brand wheels’ and if there is something else out there that wastes more time, I’d like to know about it.
Middle-management bell-ends are responsible for this and the reason they ask teams to construct brand wheels is because they, absolutely, have nothing better to do.
For the ill-informed, a brand wheel is a thing that’s designed to give employees real focus about what they are doing and help teams create better working environments. It is, of course, utter utter bullshit.
When someone starts talking about brand wheels – I’ve had to do two of these in my lifetime and another one is now beckoning – I start praying for illness. I want the kind of disease that’ll be long enough to disengage me from this laborious, pointless process.
It’s little fun and I’d rather nail my penis to a desk than go to another brand wheel construction, but if you are interested here’s what happens:
Large companies, that are usually top-heavy and full of overpaid tossers with car parking spaces nearest the office, get teams of their workers to take time out from their daily duties and think about constructing a brand ‘wheel’. It usually takes the best part of a day but longer if everyone’s really bored with their jobs.
So everyone congregates in a meeting room. On the whiteboard a circle is drawn and the idea is to fill it with appropriate words in a bid to establish what the company stands for and what its aims are. Hopefully, by recognising the traits in the brand wheel the company can see its strengths and weaknesses and react accordingly.
So, the circle is drawn – usually by the person who secured an A in GSCE Art – and a person with the nicest handwriting is assigned to write down what people shout out. Early in the proceedings people shout expletives in a bid to demonstrate how hernia-inducingly funny they are but once everyone has accepted that this is a serious task ‘for the good of the business’ and more importantly, job security, the brand wheel starts to roll.
After three hours the centre of the wheel details a set of agreed core values. Generic tosh like ‘quality, integrity and good customer service’ is always in the centre regardless of whether it’s a cricket bat factory or a bakery, while the outer segment of wheel details the ways in which these core values extend throughout the business – you’ll get things like, ‘Bert’s good at talking to the clients an’ that’ or ‘Tanya’s good at bringing in cake.’
Once completed, the brand wheel is polished up by a designer who’s a bit of a whiz with InDesign and it’s handed to the managing director who pins it up on his or her wall.
Then everyone gets back to doing exactly what they did before.