I read The Path recently. It's worth a look, basically a summary of Chinese philosophy and what it means for us today.
Some things to think about:
Every generation thinks they're special. Today's West thinks it came first with experiments on freedom of thought and self determination. We were not. This has a lot of relevance for the day job, where everyone thinks everything is newer and better and so different to years gone by. Well, you can call it Native of you want, back in the day, we called them 'Advertorials'.
Humans don't make that many decisions alone. Most of how we behave depends on how we interact with others, most of our habits and those things we say are 'just the way we are' came from the result on interactions with folks at a particular point in our lives. So don't research the person, research the connections between people. If you want to change behaviour, change the interactions.
We think of ourselves, brands too, as fixed objects, some sort of innate self and identity. We have this thing about being authentic and 'finding ourselves'. Just as you mess with the brand onion at your peril. But actually you make your own luck, you construct your identity every single day, subtly altering with the sheer density of events and interactions. Which means you can control your own destiny if you focus on the very small and look at changing that. Just as a brand needs to evolve over time, in way that's only noticed if one bothers to look back. You don't realise the Coke can has changed massively over the last 30 years until you look back to how it was.
Physicists today are increasingly convinced that particles don't really 'exist' until they interact with something else. We are made up therefore of trillions of sub-atomic interactions. Turns out, it's useful to think about that in general life as well as brands.
It's less useful to think of yourself of the brand you work on as a fixed 'thing' but rather an evolving picture made of thousands, millions of interactions with other people.
Moves on the boring 'brand as person' metaphor maybe, to brand as 'as human interactions'.
Or perhaps, Pointillism.