Brand can be as simple as extending your name to a stranger or as complicated as expressing your deepest feelings to a significant other. We search and acquire help to define our brand because we assume that we alone cannot demystify this brand enigma. In the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we are told – Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. I’d like to offer an alternate thought.
Seek First to Understand Yourself, Then You Will Help Others Understand Your Brand
A few weeks ago, I was having a discussion with a good friend who is also an aspiring female entrepreneur. She was struggling with developing her brand. Even with the help of professional consultants, my friend found this brand journey harder than she had expected. During our conversation, I encouraged her to envision her brand and business as another reflection of herself. If she understood herself physically, mentally, and spiritually, to her very core, then conveying her purpose in life, including her business would be just as simple as introducing herself to both strangers and familiar friends.
The journey through self-discovery is not always as easy to maneuver.
But there are certain aspects of ourselves that we must unravel in order to build our brand on a foundation of integrity and sincerity. We can research extensively and use buzz words obsessively. We can hire the best graphic artists and web designers to make the surface of our business offerings look amazing. However, if the core of our business is void of substance, it won’t be very long before potential or existing customers will move on to the next product offering.
People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. – Simon Sinek
Passion – If you not only like yourself but love you with your good and bad traits, then your passion for life and prosperity is easy to sustain. This is true about the business that you create. You don’t want to offer your customers a fly by night, one hit wonder product or service. You want to offer your passion for creativity, prosperity, and sincerity.
I know I use the word sincerity quite frequently in this article, and you will see it again on this site. Offering a sincere approach, product, and service is extremely important to me. In a world that promotes reality TV shows as the real world, it is often difficult to tell what is truly real. Many people long for acceptance, community, and solutions to their various problems, but often are disappointed in the people or services that they enlist for help. So, imagine if you built your business on the truth and integrity, your customers would not only welcome this refreshing change to the norm, but they may find their own way to a different and more positive lifestyle.
Purpose – Why are we here? What makes us happy? What should we do over the next few years or the rest of our lives? Both business owner and customer struggle with the search for the thing that defines oneself, one’s purpose. Understanding your passions, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses will help you build a strong business foundation based on your real capabilities and not just your dreams.
Preparation – Often the excitement of being creative or starting something new outweighs our logical mindset. We rush into the newness feet first and blinded by the real work that lies ahead. Once this excitement wears off, we are often left with the disappointing reality that there’s so much work to do before we can truly see the fruits of our labor. Instead, we must take our passion and purpose for life and develop a plan that requires much preparation and careful consideration.
When we use passion, purpose, and preparation, our journey towards brand identity and financial prosperity is clearer than we could have ever imagined.
Now that we have a better view of what is required to develop our brand messaging, how do we take the next step to creating our products and services?
The third blog article in this four-part series will take you through the journey of product and service development.