My brand didn’t used to be unique. Or desired – though back then I would have fought you to say it was. I was obviously living in the clouds. Probably eating Snickers because I was probably hangry. And we all know you’re not you when you’re hungry. Funny thing is, though. I don’t really even like Snickers. Or peanut butter for that matter. I never acquired the sophisticated taste. I can tolerate it, like Taylor Swift sings. But it’s not my instinct to go and get a Snickers. I am not here to talk about Snickers, though.
Unique brands don’t happen over night. It’s just a fact. You need to build it – just like your brand. Which is also why I do recommend you get your brand together before you start your business. I know a lot of people say it’s not the first thing on their mind when they start. But can you really afford not to think about it? If you start off your business the right way, you will think about your business from the get go.
There became a time when I was lost with my business. I was super frustrated because I felt like the passion was gone. Someone threw water on my fire. They took the chocolate chips away from my cookie. I knew what I was doing wasn’t sustainable. It lead me to burnout constantly because I was chasing something that I would have never gotten if I had stayed in that same path. I got health issues because I kept trying to do it the same way. Then I had a surgery and truly started to think about what matters.
I was trying to be like everyone else out there. Doing the same tricks, trying to live up to their expectations. Who cares what my intuition was saying. And believe me, it was telling me to run.
Then I focused on my own brand strategy. I was teaching it to others but I never truly took the time to figure out my own. Sounds familiar? I have found out that often people who teach something always skip doing the same thing for their own business. So, I started to strategize. And these are the big things I found out, my secrets that I am here to share with you.
Every single business has values. Even you. Even if you don’t know it, you just haven’t figured out what those values are. They might be negative, they may be positive. This is why you need to figure out your values so that you can make sure they are truly reflecting to what you want to be and where you want to be. First, try to figure out what values you currently have. I would do this by taking a piece of paper, writing out what you stand for and what you stand against. This gives you a good idea about what truly matters to you.
Once you have your values figured out. Then it’s time to do some magic. Are these values something you want to embrace? More often than not, people need to change them. Not just because they’re great values but because they won’t make you stand out. Here are some common values MANY businesses share:
While there is nothing wrong with these values, they are GIVEN. We all want these. In fact, they’re so obvious that it makes no sense to make them as one of your top values.
And when 80% of the businesses have these same values, no one is going to stand out. Now, if you choose values like “Generosity, hospitality, pride, fascination” those are values that standout. So, make sure you choose values that stand out.
Another thing I did was get my brand foundation set up in a way that is strong and bullet proof. Sadly, a lot of people take this step for granted. And skip it. But the thing is, having your brand foundation together, it gives you crazy clarity. It shines a light to what you truly stand for and what you’re here to do. You didn’t start a business to make money – or if you did, you ESPECIALLY need to do this step – you started a business to help other x to feel y and to do z.
All my clients are praising this step because they gain so much clarity when it comes to their business that new ideas just come flooding to them. And that is the magic of brand strategy. After all, you are giving your brand an identity once you actually get down and do the branding.
Ditch them. Ditch them all. When you live by others expectations, you’re constantly trying to please them. And that will eventually make the fire in you, get smothered. And unique brands stand for themselves, they make a strong stance and people come to them because they love the stance you have taken. So, ditch the expectations. Especially the industry expectations and do the unexpected. Be real, because people will remember and be attracted to those who are here to be different.
Think of The Dollar Shave Club and Gillette. The Dollar Shave club revolutionized the industry just by simply showing up and doing the unexpected. They decided that people care more about businesses that share the same values as them, not being a big business that is known for something. The Dollar Shave Club has always been there to speak for the people. They talk back to the industry and this is why they grew wildly successful in a short period of time.
And that my friends, is how you can craft a unique brand. A lot of people like to make it more complicated than it really needs to be.
You know that feeling when you put on a new outfit and suddenly feel like a million bucks? That's what I do for wholesome brands. Minus the awkward changing room lighting.