Treat What You Do and Why Like it is One of Your Greatest Assets

For the last few weeks, I’ve been inviting you to think about your message and your brand.  I did so not by holding myself out as a branding expert (because I am not one). 

However, I know what role your message and brand can play in your success. I know how much messaging and branding can influence you and me; how the combo impacts the products and services you buy, and from whom. And thus, why people buy from you.

Take the above image as an example.

If it’s familiar to you, it’s likely because you or someone you know is a designer, artist, photographer, or musician. Or, a lover of streetwear. Or, all of the above. 

One of the things that sets Supreme apart from other lifestyle brands that focus on skateboarding and hip hop cultures is that their items are limited editions. 

I only know about Supreme and what makes it stand out because of a friend who is a designer and artist. 

To me, they are a great example of the power and importance of your message and brand.

Lessons From Other Brands

You may not be familiar with Supreme. But I bet you know these names: Apple, Coke, Netflix, Starbucks, Bank of America, Google, Beyoncé. By all accounts these aren’t just names of companies or an entertainer, they are well recognized “brands.” Ones that likely evoke some reaction from you across the spectrum of emotions. That’s what brands do.

Perhaps when you think of these names, you think about their products and services and how they help you address a particular task or problem. Or, how they make you feel. 

Lurking just behind that is what resonates with you about their messaging and branding. It influences what you buy, and how. Even if you can’t so easily articulate their messaging and branding, or the difference between the two. 

Like I said, I have not approached this series as branding expert. Rather, I am speaking on this topic from an experiential standpoint.  

And I happen to have some pretty strong feelings about branding and its “sister,” messaging. It’s something I think about often because I have a business whose growth and sustainability are very much tied to my message and brand. Furthermore, it’s a combo that affects the work my clients do for their clients, customers, and prospects. 

Also, let’s not forget how messaging and branding shape how you vote. Just in case you see this as only relevant to commerce.

You and I may not have the budgets to work with a fancy agency like the brands I’ve referenced herein likely do. But the questions I posed here and here can certainly go a long way in helping you to bring all the pieces together. 

Don’t Take a Short-cut

Discovering and communicating what you want to be known for takes a lot of work. Both internally and externally.

Internally, because self-awareness grows when you create the space and time for the introspection required to discover your message; externally, because your message doesn’t spread unless you invest energy and resources to share and communicate it – as this is how you influence your brand’s perception.

There’s no benefit in looking for a short-cut to the internal and external work that is required when doing this type of work. (In fact, I view this as working “on” your business, not only “in” it.) This said, I came up with this equation you may find useful: Knowledge + Personality

Said differently, it is when your talents, gifts, education, expertise, and personality coalesce to help you solve problems for other people — as only you can do!

The last part, “as only you can do,” is where the messaging portion comes into play because this speaks to the idea of what it is you want to be known for. 

Thus, your brand/message is your secret sauce! The “as only you can do” point is how you distinguish yourself from others who technically do the same thing as you. Similarly, it is how you demonstrate your leadership in your company and industry.

It’s your secret sauce because every interaction you have with your clients, customers, prospects, professional peers and colleagues, vendors, etc. sends a message about your brand.

It truly puts a spotlight on what makes you unique.

In other words, your brand/message are a big damn deal!

Plus the elements of your brand/message are things that can never be taken from you — at least not without your permission.

So….

While you spend time each day, week, month and year working to improve the “technical” skills you need to excel at what you want to be known for, please be just as purposeful and intentional when it comes to cultivating and refining your brand/message?

And as the title of this piece invites you to do: Treat what you do and why like it is one of your greatest assets. Recognize it as an asset that can lead to more income, impact, and opportunities.

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