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The brand called you


We all have one what’s yours?

We go to Apple for ease of use and design in technology. We go to Macleans for toothpaste. We go to GAP for basics. We go to IKEA for well designed inexpensive furniture. We go to BOSE for sound sound systems. We go to Seth Godin for thought provoking books.

We all have our favourite brands.

We return to again and again,

often without even thinking,

sometimes more consciously.

What makes us go return?

What makes us so loyal?

In a world where we encounter more than 5,000 advertisements per day,

spend more than 9 hours on technology and take in 174 newspapers of data each day,

having brands we can rely on simplifies our lives.

We are making thousands of decisions every day.

from little to larger ones: what to wear,

what to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner

to go to the gym, yoga or not, and that’s just skimming the surface.

We don’t want to more decisions to make so we simplify it

by going to the same coffee shop,

by buying the same things

from the same brands of yoghurt, technology, clothing, shoes.

We have learned they fit us, they work for us,

they are comfortable, they are our style.

We have learned we can rely on them.

Branding is delivery on promise.

We rely on them to deliver a consistent standard 

at a consistent price in a consistent way.

Note the word consistent ,

People (and even some designers – much to my horror)

often speak of branding as a logo, a product,

a visual style, a tone of voice.

These are components of a brand

but a brand is a complex system of the many elements:

people, products, service, and other ‘touch points’

(as us branding people call them).

such as logo, packaging, website,

environment, the lady who answers the phone

when you call to order or complain, how I feel when I use your widget

and the list goes on.

So what has this to do with you?

Did you know you have a ‘brand’ too?

Whether you work for yourself

or are employed in a large corporation.

People have certain perceptions of you

based on how you look, communicate,

perform, act, react . . . your position,

your skills, your passions

Think of someone you love,

List all the things you love about them.

Think of someone who irritates you 

List all the things you dislike about them

Both lists are their brand attributes

in your perception of them.

Who are you more likely to call/purchase from/

refer your friends to/want to spend time with?

So enough about them,

back to you.

We all express ourselves in one way or another

We are constantly giving clues as to what our brand is.

Do you know what you say,

what you do and how you do it;

what you wear and how you wear it

are saying about you?

Is it what you want to say?

Is it telling the truth about you?

Could you be louder, quieter, more colourful,

or maybe just clearer

and almost certainly more conscious?

Here’s a little exercise

Write 5 words to describe what’s great about you?

Can you express these more clearly?

Write down 5 words to describe that may not be your best brand attributes?

Do you want to let these go?

Focus on one for the next day or so

and see if you want to drop it and replace it

with something that excites and delights you.

Ask 2-5 people (friends and colleagues) the above questions.

Offer to reciprocate.

Agree to synchronise giving or sending them

so you don’t know each others’ answers

(just in case either of you could be swayed positively or negatively by knowing what you have said about each other)

Are their answers aligned with what you wrote about yourself.

You’ll likely find out some surprisingly lovely things about yourself.

As Shakespeare says

“If God only gave us the gift to see ourselves as others see us”

Have a great day.


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