This is branding as we know it today.
You see them everywhere – Companies and organizations that come on the scene and as quickly as they came in, they are gone in a flash. Each one that you pass by, looks, sounds and feels like their competitors. There is nothing compelling about them. So it’s no wonder why they only have short life spans.
Nonetheless, I would ask myself why was it they failed to make it? Why did they fail to become legacy companies? I would analyze the owners, the staff and their branding looking for answers. The conclusion I came to was that they were in it for the wrong reasons.
It’s easier to copy a brand than build your own.
It’s no secret that when someone sees a company killing it – by increasing their revenue, staff and footprint on the world – others perk up their ears, sniff the air and start tracking down where all the noise is coming from.
When this person arrives at the source of the commotion, they see growth, opportunity and revenue potential, which is commendable. But all they see is the outside of that company and in all honesty, it looks pretty easy from that point of view. So what do they do? They copy that successful business in hopes that they can capitalize on their success. They copy their look, their messaging, their unique selling propositions…basically they sit their ass down in that company’s sandbox and begin playing with their toys.
That company that built that sandbox may look up a few times to see who has joined them but their attention quickly goes back down to what they were doing. This is the first sign of trouble to come.
Soon there is more competition plopping their asses down in that sandbox. When that pioneering company looks up once again, what they see surprises them. Their sandbox, the one they built, is full of others who look, sound and feel the same way they do.
Now, this pioneer is panicking.
What’s worse, is the incestual copying of brands you see in today’s industries. It’s gross really.
As he looks around he is wondering what the hell he needs to do to get rid of these invaders. Anger sets in. Confusion is next. Instead of looking for ways to separate his company from the invaders, he begins watching what everyone else is doing and he begins copying the invaders. What happens next is incestual. A sandbox filled with chromosome-deficient-mutants who are all sputtering the same messages in slightly different ways.
That pioneer began the right way by building their own sandbox but he didn’t do enough to make his sandbox impenetrable to copycats and lazy self-serving business owners looking to make a quick buck.
You have permission to build your brand YOUR way.
This manifesto is not a rant although that can be argued. It is a plea to business owners, leaders and people of power to stop doing what everyone else is doing. This is your permission to do things Your Way. A Way built on cause, purpose and mission-driven intent that is unique to you and no one else! I am giving you the ‘go-ahead’ to build your own sandbox so far away from everyone else that the moment some asshole gets a sniff of your success, they will see the long journey ahead of them to get to your sandbox that they will give up before they even get started.
What about those companies who have good intentions but fail as well?
I can tell you why they failed.
They didn’t believe in themselves and their brand. When things got tough, which happens with ANY business from time to time, instead of defaulting back to their purpose, cause, mission, and values, they opted to leave their newly built sandbox and go play with their peers in the crowded sandbox over there in the corner.
The rest is history.
Who told you that branding has to be done in a specific way?
I want you to understand that NOWHERE does it say that you have to follow everyone else just because that’s what everyone else is doing in your industry.
I mean really! Who told you you had to do it that way? Who told you that your brand has to sound like everyone else? Who said you must stay in the same sandbox as your competitors?
I will tell you who. NO ONE!
There is way too much competition out there and as our world grows more connected, many more countries will come knocking at your customer’s doors looking for their share of that person’s wallet. The companies that don’t get it will default to competing on bottom feeder tactics like price, boasting how good they are, selling out to get 5 minutes of fame, discounts, creating controversy on purpose, click-baiting, etc. These are businesses that forgo customer service in the name of making money. Brand experience, purpose-driven philosophy, cause, and values are things that they scoff at. The mere thought of this is a complete waste of time in their opinion. And they will be the first person to tell you so.
Those who think and look at the big picture will know better. They understand that success is predicated on longevity. They will ask themselves “How do I stay relevant for the next 20 years or more?”
They will discover that the answer is: Build Your Own Sandbox.
Do you want to build your own sandbox?
If you are thinking to yourself “I want to build my own sandbox.” I encourage you to keep reading because I am going to show you how to do it.
Building your sandbox takes time. Patience, vision, and belief are also required. You have to be in this for the long term for it to create success.
If you lack patience and are looking for a silver bullet to make your company millions in a matter of months, you have come to the wrong place. There are lots of instafakes on social media that can give you ‘secrets to their successes’ in exchange for a couple of hundred bucks. I suggest you seek them out but beware. It’s all bullshit. You’re welcome.
Those of you who are in it to win it the right way. Let’s begin.
The world needs and desires business owners like you.
One of our most primal instincts is to be part of communities. Communities that share the same values and causes they do. When people find a community that fits their own values and beliefs, they stay there for the long term.
Your company is going to build a brand that creates community – internally and externally.
Not only will customers stick with you, but they will also promote you and advocate for you. Don’t forget this also applies to your employees. You are going to create community, culture and life long fans.