Why do some brands fall flat?
A while back, I found myself unexpectedly swept up into a show called All On The Line. Joe Zee, a renowned fashion editor, intervenes and gives struggling designers the guidance and second chance they need to turn their business around.
Of course, the transformation often includes some operational improvements, a refreshed clothing line, and some new ways for exposure. But Joe always insists on starting with the same exercise: tapping into their point of view.
He knows that the inspiration for the design, the interest of the media, even the renewed enthusiasm of the designer and their team depends on first having a story and worldview to base things upon.
What you absolutely need.
It comes down to this: there’s really only one “must” in branding – everything else, even great design, is really an opportunity to make a greater impact from there.
Brands that fall flat are either lacking it or faking it by mimicking somebody else’s.
It’s your own unique perspective.
You’ve seen this word often enough to start taking for it granted, so let’s really stop and look at what it means for you and your business.
Your perspective is a set of strongly held beliefs and values that guide you. It is both how you see the world and what you want for the world; it’s what you think matters the most. Whether you call it your perspective, philosophy, or point-of-view — it’s all the same — it represents a critical starting point for your brand.
And, even if it’s not obvious, it is uniquely your own.
How you see things differently is everything. Your insight into the world, your industry, and your customers’ lives is what your noteworthy brand will be built upon. (Tweet it!)
When you lead with perspective, you’ll be in good company. Think about the campaigns that have led to the iconic status of brands like Nike and Apple. Think about what gets politicians elected. What makes a particular artist’s style resonate with you deeply.
They show you the world through their eyes. They stand apart because of what they stand for.
Know what you think.
This is an easy step to miss in the branding process because we often take our perspective of the world for granted.
But, in my experience, there is always something that you see that others are missing. There is always a new way of thinking or being that you’re bringing to the table. When you find that, you will find the fertile soil upon which to grow your brand.
It’s the catalyst behind the strategies and actions that will form your compelling brand presence.
The key is to recognize your differing point of view and act on it.
First, you need to get clear on your beliefs, your values, and your vision for the world. You can get free guidance on this discovery process with my Brilliant Clarity Workshop.
But then? Translate that worldview into something tangible for your customers to experience. Here’s a good old fill-in-the-blank prompt to help you do that.
I believe [enter a belief or value here], so I [identify what you do about it].
The power is in the alignment. By tying your unique way of doing things to values or beliefs that you hold strongly, you’re building a substantial and original brand.
You can come up with as many of these statements as you wish — this is your brand in action, not one tidy statement to sum everything up.
Here’s an example from my own business:
I believe that there’s always a way to succeed as your authentic self, so I help business visionaries find and express their remarkability through my True Brand Profiling process. See how I’ve aligned my signature offer directly to one of my strongest beliefs?
More examples from a few of my clients:
Megan (the Creative Vegetable Gardener) believes that if you’re not successful, then it’s not fun (and you’re not going to keep going), so she helps clients skip the common beginner mistakes so they can become life-long gardening addicts.
Juliana believes that happy moments are like seeds that grow inside of us and make us strong, so she immortalizes them into “Art made of stories” to keep you connected to what matters.
She also believes that mementos shouldn’t be dead or depressing so she revives preserved flowers with vibrant inks to create art, not memorabilia.
Dr. Deborah believes our health is a reflection of how we love ourselves, so she brings a heart-centered approach to her healing work as a naturopathic doctor and health mentor for ambitious women.
Lorena believes that when you’re having fun, doors open, so she creates immersive coaching events that help business women “feel good to feel worthy.” Her email signature ends with “ps. Money loves fun!” — love that!
I could write an entire post just full of the compelling and resonant points-of-view that I get to witness in my clients (and I just might sometime), but this should give you the idea!
So if you haven’t already, dive into the free Brilliant Clarity workshop and then come back and share one of your key insights below:
What is the unique point-of-view you’re bringing to your industry, and what are you doing as a result?