Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't create your brand - discover it

The best advice I've heard regarding branding is:

A Brand should not be created - it must be discovered.

Too often, we try to compete, compare and trump the competition by outdoing - by being them, only better. Problem is, we aren't them. We're not good at being them - they are. We're better off determining what makes us tick, why our clients love us, why we do great at certain things. Then we should focus on those things and promote them to get more clients that find us attractive.

Look at your life and you can see this truth. My daughter, when she was 11, was tall. Living in Indiana, being tall means one thing - you must play basketball. She did, or at least she tried, but her heart wasn't in it. I was the father at the games urging her from the bleachers, "Take your hands out of your pockets!" Yes, she had her hands in her pockets- not a good thing to do if you're supposed to handle the ball.

My daughter's passion is in creating things, playing music, etc. If I tried to force her to become a great basketball player, we could have drifted apart and she would have been miserable. Instead, we supported her in music and other creative endeavors - which has led to a good relationship and great artistic expression.

Look at your company; it's no different. You can force it into being something it's not in order to capture a market or to try to beat a competitor. But wouldn't it be easier, smarter and more successful to identify what is its strength and to focus on attractive customers and employees that are inspired by that?

Barry LaBov
LaBov and beyond

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