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Balancing Unity And Variety:
Branding Lesson From Classical Music

Unity promotes cohesiveness. Variety creates interest.

A business lesson taken from classical music.

Ultimately, all composition comes down to a balance between unity and variety.

Too much unity, too much of the same thing, leads to boredom. But, too much variety leads to chaos.

This sentiment is attributed to Russian composer Igor Stravinski by music commentator Rob Kapilow.

While this reference was about music composition, it just as easily applies to your brand, your products and services, the way your office is run, or your blog content.

Unity

You need the unity – sameness – to have a theme. Something people can depend on. Something they trust.

  • A consistent message, the same look, the same quality, ongoing standards. Safety that can be relied upon. Service that is always the same.

But, too much consistency can become tedious.

Variety

Variety will stimulate and keep interest.

  • New designs. Upgraded versions. Additional features. Better, faster, stronger, friendlier…

However, too much variety too often – and you will seem disorganized and may create confusion.

What is the balance like at your company?

This post was inspired by Rob Kapilow’s “What Makes It Great” program. A podcast filmed at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts where he talks about Bach’s Italian Concerto, BWV 971.

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