It struck me that every planner should be forced to construct their own brand onion, a parrallel to psychtherapists having to undergo years of self-analysis before qualified to dole out advice.
When I left McCann Erickson last month, I found myself in the pub sharing a final fond drink with Rob and Laura (fellow McCann planners) and, almost as a symbol of knowing each other so intimately, we assigned each other brand essences (Rob suggested mine was "emotionally bald", hardly as flattering as mine for him... "forgivably superior", whilst Laura was "Entwining" to my "Beguilingly Cunning"). All great fun... and reasons to believe, emotional benefits, etc. followed suit. Never got onto NPD.
(Rob looking unforgivably superior)
I highly recommend every planner try this, or perhaps every Planning Department should do this at their Christmas outing instead of Secret Santa... a kind of "guess who did my brand onion". All very revealing and almost as good as "Shag, Marry or Shoot".