There was a TV show a long, long time ago named Branded and all I remember about it is the theme song and a close-up of Chuck Connors. He had a face like a broken piece of slate.
But now I think of that song and that face every time I hear about branding, which is pretty much constantly. It’s one of those words that showed up one day and decided to stick around, whether it’s appropriate to the situation or not. Usually it’s not.
Someone will say they like a certain brand, when actually, what they mean is, they like a logo. The most unexpected people will reference their personal brand. Usually they mean where they shop. And why do regular people need to refer to themselves as a brand? Curious, to say the least. But if it helps you feel good about yourself, what the heck.
I get to do a lot of work with branding, corporate and personal, and to me, “brand” is synonymous with “everything.” It starts at hello, continues with attitude, flows through physical appearance, bounces around unique qualities, addresses philosophical outlook and references a favorite color. For an organization, it’s necessary and helpful – a set of guidelines for everyone on the inside to be aware of and follow, and for everyone on the outside to recognize in a world overcrowded with, well, brands.
And for individuals who are their own product, the same holds true. But for regular people, it’s simpler than that and is nicely summed up in a line from a movie that, I’m guessing, Chuck Connors never saw – The Boys in the Band. And the line in question?
“Who is she? Who was she? Who does she hope to be?”
The line was read with definitive, hi-quality, attitudinal shade, but I’m co-oping it literally.
So, if you think you need your own brand, start here – Who are you now and how’s that working for you? Who were you and where/how/when did you start being you? How do you want to be thought of moving forward and where do you want to take this thing?
Makes sense. Think about it.
Then call me.