When you think about branding, synthesis is critical. You cannot be all things to all (wo)men. You have to choose where your brand stands in the marketplace: niche, low-brow, action, sophisticated, smart, edgy? It cannot be them all.
Moreover, there is no wrong place to stand in the marketplace. Just stand somewhere, and sell your wares. [In MarComms, many of us suffer from the curse of the Generalist – where it is impossible to articulate one’s brand in any way other than “I do a bit of everything.”]
This plays out when we delve into personal branding. Most people orient themselves toward one of the Head-Heart-Hand brand elements, where:
- Head brand = thinking, intellect;
- Heart brand = feeling, emotions;
- Hand brand = doing, action.
Look at my brand – I have a strong Head orientation. This can be seen from the head / black designation of the branding cards that make up the TMWK BrandBoard.
Now, does this mean I have no Heart or Hand abilities? No, of course not. It means where I make the difference is is my Head strength. I’m ok with that. It makes sense to me, and I have a narrative that describes how I make that difference.
Interestingly, when we work with clients, there is some sensitivity about not being well-rounded; or being too heavy in one dimension of the HHH articulation. We do want to be all things to all (wo)men!
I wonder if this issue is behind many companies and brands being unable to gain a foothold in the marketplace – that they are trying too hard to please too many people. Seth Godin often writes about this – the need to focus on being incredible to the right audience rather than average to everyone.
So, push comes to shove, what brand element are you? Resolving this conundrum may help you kick start your professional journey.
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