What’s your personal dæmon? Does it understand marketing?
His Dark Materials, the BBC’s adaptation of the novels by Sir Philip Pullman, has introduced a whole new audience to the idea that each of us has a dæmon as a lifelong companion. If you’ve not been watching, a dæmon is an animal manifestation of our personality which lives alongside us and is visible to the rest of the world.
While it’s a great notion in fiction and gives the storyteller a plethora of ways in which to reveal the underlying nature of his characters, it could be a touch awkward in the real world to be accompanied everywhere by a bird, a monkey or, indeed, a gecko. It would, if nothing else, be very difficult to pretend to be other than you really were. If, for example, you were trying to project an image of aloof superiority, having a Labrador as your dæmon would definitely blow your cover. In the briefest wag of a rudder-like tail, you’d be exposed as loyal, intelligent and incapable of resisting a Bonio.
That’s what we find interesting about the dæmon as a concept. If your character is always on show, then there’s no point in anything other than openness and honesty. You are what you are. And although some might think we’re stretching a point to relate this to marketing, we believe that authenticity is a fundamental part of any successful marketing activity. Buyers don’t need a dæmon to sense when something isn’t all it seems. In marketing, messages must be congruent with the values of the vendor and reflect their personality.
There are several things we can draw out of the human–dæmon relationship which illustrate business concepts. For example, the dæmon doesn’t become settled as a single animal until the human reaches a certain degree of maturity. Many start-up businesses chop and change their approaches, trading model, products or services before finally settling into their niche. Think of it as a brand becoming recognised and established. This is what we do. This is who we are.
There are aspects of the human-dæmon relationship which we feel are particularly relevant to Plane Perspective. We’re a small but dynamic agency, with high levels of commitment. The exact nature of our relationships with our clients varies, but we’re always there and ready to support them. We can be a close companion and yet remain entirely separate, like a dæmon which isn’t attached to its human partner but is never far away.
Have you been watching the series? Have you noticed that the dæmons are protective of their human partners – remaining awake when the human is asleep or keeping an eye on things from a distance? That’s another of our traits. We don’t just think about our clients, but also about their competitors, their markets and emerging threats. And like that Labrador we mentioned earlier, we’re loyal. You won’t find us acting on behalf of businesses where there is any conflict of interest.
There’s a diversity of dæmons – and so there should be – everyone has a unique personality. We’ve built a small team where everyone knows marketing, but we each bring something different to the table and because we’re adaptable, we can match your needs exactly.
We’ve been gripped by the series so far, we’ve loved the story, the characters and the dæmons, but we still recognise that it’s a fantasy. Despite the talk of dæmons and a bit of office banter about which animal our personal dæmons would be, we remain firmly grounded in the real world. So, if you’d like to talk marketing, call us. We’ll be sure to keep our dæmons under control, but our personalities will still want to get involved.
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