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Desires: On Curiosity, Independence, Honor & Idealism

Sure, there’s plenty of darkness in desires, but not here—these four inclinations illuminate what’s good and pure in us.

This is the second in a four-part series on our 16 human desires. Together they comprise desires thinking, a methodology for creating more meaningful, successful brands. Read part 1 here.

It’s how inventions come to be. It’s how we managed to eventually make fire, slowly and surely built the pyramids and came to know the planets. It drove Marco Polo to China, Neil Armstrong to the moon and, in the same breath, pushed brands like Apple, Facebook and Amazon to take pilgrimages to new brand frontiers.

What’s “it,” you ask? Curiosity—one of our ancient, ingrained desires. It’s our drive to know more—to push the boundaries—and it’s a fertile starting point for brands in need of a boost. So are its three well-intentioned cousins: honor, independence and idealism. Honor is that innate desire to be called up—the glory of service and sacrifice—and you see it working hard for institutions like the military and the church.

If honor is following someone else’s rules, independence flies in the face of it, compelling us to follow our own. You can argue that the two dovetail into idealism, the current darling of the branding world. It’s our want to improve society, and our absolute fear of corruption. Ever wonder why Patagonia is persistently name-dropped as a runaway success? The magic is in the passionate devotion. When we purchase Patagonia, we believe we’re contributing to something bigger; of greater importance. And refreshingly, with them, you actually are. (Evidence of the ever-important brand purpose.)

These four desires are rooted in the best parts of us—our good intentions to improve ourselves and our surroundings. They’re the stuff of progress, and the stuff of progressive brands.

To learn more about LPK’s desires thinking, head to lpk.com/desires.


Nathan Hendricks believes there is no excuse for a lousy brand. As chief creative officer at LPK, he challenges the organization’s creative teams to uphold the vision that every brand should make a powerful and positive difference for the people it serves. A candid cultural commentator, he’s never afraid to tell it like it is. Drop him a line or invite him out for a round—beer, not golf—at nathan.hendricks@lpk.com.

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