I hate my brand.
I don’t know what my brand is.
I can’t fit that within my brand.
My brand isn’t fun.
My brand isn’t unique.
If any of those statements ring a bell, you’re not the only one.
Since “branding” is now more of a necessity than an addition to any given company – or person, for that matter – it has become all too jumbled and construed into who is behind the brand rather than what the brand is actually fronting. Minus the big box stores (and even they have a fine line), branding is now considered to be all about you, the one behind the curtain. People want to know you, your name, your story. They don’t want just a brand; they want a face or two to place with the brand. They want to connect to and feel connected with.
On one hand, this is all too cool for those that have the guts and those in which self-branding works well for success.
On the other hand, not all companies or organizations can create a brand with the founder(s) on the front lines.
This may be for privacy’s sake. Or most likely due to the fact that not every company can survive on a brand based on any one person or group.
The question here, therefore, is, “What do I do if my brand is not, can not, or will not be based upon me?”
There is trickery and mastery all in one when it comes to a brand you create that is separate from your personal life. To cut to the chase, a brand can never not include those that make it. It’s completely impossible. Even the designer has a hand in the events that occur when creating a brand, whether recognized or not. They consult, ideate, and create what you tell them you want and what they know you need. Your brand is somewhat a part of you and those that create it, whether intentional or unintentional.
So the answer to the question of whether your brand should include you is this:
Your brand will include some of you, whether it’s a brand after you yourself, or after the company you founded. How much of you – how much you influence, insert, and impose of yourself on your brand – that is where the line should be drawn and never crossed. Not because you aren’t important to your brand, but because it’s important for your brand to be itself without you.
Think about it this way: If you want your brand to hold its own without your face attached to its every move, it is important to center your brand on something other than yourself.
Take a look at Lincoln. They’ve put a face to their brand. It’s not the face of the founder, or the designer, or anyone in the company for that matter. Why? Well, number one, no one at Lincoln is Matthew McConaughey. Let’s just get that out of the way. Number two, their face obviously wouldn’t do the trick. They chose someone already in the spotlight with the type of class they wanted to portray, and struck a deal. More complicated than that, but that’s the bottom line.
I don’t think everyone needs an actual face to pair with their brand; however, they need a personality.
Lincoln just so happened to score both, currently.
No matter what you choose to do to portray your brand – an actual person, (which is also in fact a personality) or merely a personality – make every decision a conscious one. Every move intentional. Every piece a reflection of your brand.
In order to do this, there is no cookie-cutter answer. Every brand is and should be different. Even if they’re in the same field, a brand must be unique in order to be noticed and profitable. They must have a differentiator. The road to figuring all of this out for your brand can be scary, long and hard. But, hopefully the following will make it a bit easier. I’ll share with you what I’ve done in the past to set my brand straight. You can also read this post for greater detail on the transformation, and head on over to my website to read more about Radiant Rose. If you need help, email me for support. It’s always nice to have someone to talk to that’s been-there-done-that!
The successful brands that are centered on one person or personality have gotten there very carefully, strategically and intentionally. Decide which way your brand needs to go (even more so than the way you want it to go) and head that way – even if it means starting from scratch. It can be done, just ask me.
Comment if you have questions or additions!