Saturday, October 20, 2012

Your Brand, Your Self...Self Assessing

Given my last post about assessing one's values, it took a little more time than anticipated, but a promise is a promise. As mentioned, it's not enough to use an adjective there has to be something behind it; essentially what you bring to the table. To that end, I now present what I've determined are the values of my brand.

- Bringing Levity & Positivity to Just About Any Situation: To varying degrees I can be considered funny, but it's not enough just to tell a joke, it's knowing your audience. Even more, you need to know the impact your comments can make. It's the reason that I say "just about any situation," it's all about limits. Sure, the funeral might seem like a great place to joke about the fact that the guy was trampled by a herd of fat ladies outside a Weight Watchers while dressed like an ice cream cone, but maybe wait until the body's in the ground first? If your brand can achieve this, it shows you take yourself just seriously enough.

- Putting Others at Ease: This one's a bit touchy, as most people think humor & positivity can achieve this, but that's not the case. What really makes this ring as a value is incorporating yourself into a conversation in a way that doesn't just come off as someone who knows things. The key here is to never approach a conversation or situation as if you REALLY know everything, but rather have some knowledge about it and want to hear what others have to say. Look, while we all use Wikipedia, we don't want to hang out with the human version. As a brand, you have to be able to talk to everyone, but also know enough to know when you to start listening to others as well.

- A Resource in Times of Need: Please don't interpret this as being a dumping ground or patsy for people who need their couch moved on a Sunday. This is the demonstration of ability to really help, but keeping it to a minimum and only in times of true necessity. Doing so means that people aren't just going to ring for the slightest thing, but rather when only my level of expertise can provide resolution. From a brand perspective, this prevents over exposure and ultimately diluting of the brand. After all, if you're everything to everyone you're probably closer to being nothing to anyone.

There you have it, my brand values. Even if you disagree, the takeaway here is that the value has to be genuine. At the end of the day, even if your brand value is telling others what they don't want to hear, as long as it's sincere and not some Bravo Housewife audition, it's going to be interpreted as such.

However, keep in mind that while your brand values should be consistent that doesn't mean they can't be changed. After all, we all know that consumer behavior can change and that can always lead to reevaluations of what your brand is presenting.

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