Have you ever met someone with no sense of identity? You ask the person about their interests, beliefs, hobbies, etc. and get no closer to knowing them… Maybe you even tried to put words in their mouth.
Try as they may, desperate and painfully self-aware, their efforts to frantically distract from the question only make things more awkward. Maybe you have been on the other side, feeling you just weren’t being yourself. It’s a terrible feeling. You almost feel dishonest.
And that makes a lot of sense.
Similarly, we have all stumbled upon brands who had no idea who they were or how to articulate their identity. If you stuck around long enough to see if the company could tell you who they were, the response you probably got was less of an answer and more of a distraction – pushing a sale of a product or service.
I know it is important to be able to sell your product by talking about it’s inherent qualities. But branding goes farther than this.
A brand involves a story that involves the passion of individuals for something greater than profit. A good brand implants a coherent and compelling concept in the mind. If a brand is great, that concept takes shape into something almost robust as an actual person.
But few companies have the confidence in their vision to discover, articulate and execute their brand across all communication scenarios. This doesn’t just bore the customer, it will also affect employees. A company that fails to consistently articulate it’s brand story, vision, core values and demonstrate them in their norms and structures will fail to develop and retain talent.
People and brands lose friends and customers and many opportunities for loyal friends and loyal customers just because they were unwilling to face their fears and ask the question, “Who am I? Why do I exists? Why do I matter? Why do others want to be a part of my story?”