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What did I take away from this whole experience? Four things:

Brand managers are not always the people closest to the true nature of the brand, nor the best able to see what might be construed as damaging to its integrity.

Having free-flowing, unregulated communication within a company can be distracting, annoying and damaging to one’s ego, but it lets you know pretty quickly when you’ve stepped across a line you shouldn’t have crossed.

Expect that there will be unexpected ramifications from even the most innocuous seeming initiatives. That shouldn’t stop you from moving ahead, but you should be ready to respond to the weirdness and be flexible about the ways in which you do it.

Cartoons should never be written by a committee.

When I praised Google's adoption of a living logo earlier this year I knew little about the story behind the story. Thanks to Doug Edward's three recent posts over on Xooglers I am now all the wiser. Doug lists his current occupation as brand manager without portfolio which immediately registered as did his four lessons learned from the experience shared above. Like all great meals it is leisurely served over three courses. My compliments to the chef. Recommended reading in full.

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