I meet a lot of clients in my day-to-day work. Many times they are small business owners or entrepeneurs. One of the key questions I ask them is this: “What defines your brand?” They usually throw out a few words, oh it’s “professional,” “easy to use.” I dig a little deeper, “ok, that’s good. Now, how are you different from everyone else out there?” They pause as this requires a bit more of a calculated response. “Our people are genuine,” they say for example.
“Ok, good,” I respond, we are getting closer to the essence of what makes this brand unique. “What colours do you see?” “What do you want your customers to say when they have used your product?” When you find the essence of the brand, that is what enables you to take the brand and market it, because what it is and what it wants to be is truly defined. When you have the guidelines set up you are able to see when you are deviating from what you defined as you.
Have you ever thought about this: what is my brand. What labels do people use to describe me and how am I presenting myself to the world? What do your friends say when they introduce you? Is it, “hi this is Lucy. She’s a model for Guess.” Or is it, “hi this is Lucy, she’s one of the nicest people you will meet.”
When I first become a Christian my friends started branding me as the “Christian girl.” I never liked this brand. I always felt uncomfortable about it – like when you wear someone else’s clothes and you know they fit better elsewhere. After a while, though, I found people were coming to me when they didn’t go to the others because of my “brand”. They would pretend they weren’t into the whole “Christian” thing but when I spoke they listened as if what I said had greater weight. I found that I became comfortable with my brand because once I was used to it I realised I was different. I stood for something and I stood out. I began to like this.
People brand you based on the basis of three things:
What you speak about the most
What you teach on the most
What you practice the most
It’s important to take stock of the “brand” we present to the world. Are we angry, frustrated and negative in the things we say. When people think of us do they think, “oh what an amazing girl who has standards and principles” or do they think “I wish she would stop moaning about everything in her life?” What does our dress say about us, does it say we are edgy, corporate, creative and are we someone clean and pleasant to look at? What do we do with our time, if you say you are a drummer and yet you spend all weekend playing video games then your brand will be diluted.
So often we see people who are great at singing and believe they are meant to do something awesome with that talent, but they spend their time doing something else. So often we know we were made to be someone who stands out but we spend our time blending in because we are scared our brand is too strong and people won’t like it.
I guess it all comes down to do you know what you were placed on this earth to do? Do you have a sense of purpose around what you do with your time and the type of person you want to be?
Without Jesus in your life, it’s difficult to be the brand you know you want to be. It’s difficult to be a good person and stand up for something. Without Jesus you often don’t realise why you were put on the planet and have any sense of how to use your time here. Let something real and something eternal guide your personal brand. Don’t let the world, your friends, or media try to brand you. Let your maker brand you so you can become the real you. I’m proud of my brand, are you?