Are you talkin’ to me?

My business partner Syd Kessler, who has a knack for seeing patterns and tendencies (something he calls “pattern recognition”) and getting rich because of that talent, coined a term that’s incredibly useful for us as marketers: Permission Space™.  Let’s talk about what this is and why it’s so important.A good way to think about this is to start with something universal:  Your best friend. Your best friend has a lot of permission with you. They can call you on your bullshit. They can call you, period, at all hours. They can crash on your sofa. They can borrow things from you in a pinch. They have front row seats to your life.  They know your secrets. He or she will be standing next to you when you get married, possibly as your best man or maid of honour. And they’ve earned these privileges by being trustworthy, helpful, fun, supportive – in short, by being there for you in good times and bad. They have earned a specific and deep level of permission with you. And different friends have different permission with you. One may have the permission to be your confidant. Another has permission to be a travel companion. Another might have permission to a partner in crime, or an instigator.

This is no different from what brands aspire to. They want this level of permission from us. And each has a different “permission space™” that is authentic and earned. Apple has permission to be the Cool Creative Friend, whereas PCs do not. Blackberry has permission to be Overachiever’s Communication Tool. Mercedes has permission to be Symbol of Success while Audi is leveraging its permission space™ of being a technological object of lust. With brands, and personal brands, knowing and leveraging your Permission Space – is everything.