flux branding

The Pit & The Pendulum

Challenges are often the catalyst for changes.

>Is your brand ready for the changes ahead?


Great brands evoke an emotional response when people encounter the product, service or company they represent. Branding is the practice of revealing the authentic brilliance that elicits those feelings, and makes them memorable.

Stories help make brands easier to remember. By embedding your brand’s promises within a narrative, the story adds context to help people experience it more naturally. When crafted powerfully, the results can be iconic and unforgettable.


Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) is known for his tales of mystery and macabre. His short stories “The Raven” and “The Tell Tale Heart” completely transformed the genre of the horror story with his masterful tales of psychological depth and insight.

The Pit and The Pendulum was written by Poe in 1842. The story is about the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition. It’s always been one of my favorite tales. 



>A Tale of Life and Death

Convicted by his captors, a man faces death in a chilling circumstance. Restrained from movement, he watches a giant pendulum swing above him. With each pass, the pendulum’s razor-edge inches closer, threatening to sever his body and take his life. While witnessing impending doom, he’s given time to reflect on the value of life. 

After first accepting his condemnation to die, he decides to make a plan to survive. Using his wits, he finds a solution by facing his darkest fears. Through the courage to persevere, he’s able to escape his predicament at the last moment. He’s then able to take the hand of a liberator who delivers him to freedom.

The story is actually a technique for delivering an important message that’s especially relevant today. We’ve faced new threats to our mortality this year. The 2020 global pandemic has restrained our economy and way of life. As we watch COVID swing through the population, we’ve all been given time to reflect on our lives in the process. Will you accept death or make a plan to survive?

Stories make complex concepts intuitively understood. They take important ideas and transform them into relatable tales. It shifts the emphasis from delivering information to engagement with a plot. The characters can reveal lessons or morals. 

Challenges bring uncertainty and danger. Our instincts make us immediately aware of danger. Detecting threats quickly are essential for survival. Responding to imminent peril is like child’s-play: we’re hard-wired to react to avoid hazards. But discovering solutions to challenges requires critical thinking. That’s accomplished through dedication, practice and mastery.  Sometimes just by good luck. 

While we don’t know how the pandemic will reshape consumer behavior, the cultural shift is coming. We’ve had nearly a year to rethink what’s important. The way we live, work and play have reprioritized our plans. It’s an exciting time for those who make the decision to look forward and intend to survive. 

Brands that recognize the new mindset stand to play a crucial role in the new normal that’s coming. We’ve set a strategy for survival, and when we escape our current predicament we’ll be reaching for the hands of brands that can liberate us from captivity.

 Find your most noble mission and prepare for a massive resurgence of demand as the bonds of COVID captivity release us from today’s torture. If you can extend your brand to elevate people emotionally, economically or spiritually it’s likely you’ll be rewarded. 

The pendulum is always in motion, and it’s passing through it’s oscillation right now. These are rare times that provide tremendous opportunities for those willing to embrace change. Not ready? Don’t fret. There will be more tales of suspense in the future.

Change is (after all) the only constant. 

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