Like you (if you grew up in America), I had a very lousy high school history teacher.
He put the bare minimum into teaching. We watched A LOT of film strips (and if you remember film strips, how’s middle age been for you so far 😭?). He seemed to hate all his students, except track team members–he was the track coach–and he belittled the rest of us. A real peach of a guy.
He was one of the first “authority” figures I remember watching and thinking ‘‘I’m not like that. I’m something else. I would make different decisions, and I think my decisions would be better for most”. Figuring out who I WASN’T was a valuable part of figuring out who I WAS.
Part of a strong brand strategy is also figuring out everything you AREN’T. Why? So you can clearly, quickly, and compellingly communicate who you ARE.
Great brand strategies SUBTRACT their brand down to its essence.
According to Marketing experts, you only get 8 seconds to capture a potential client’s attention, so you don’t want anything superfluous in the way of connection. As a result, when clients come to my program with assumptions about their brand, we test those assumptions to see if they’re TRUE and if they communicate the brand in a way that RESONATES and (therefore) CONNECTS.
Building a great brand requires subtraction:
- Subtract what’s general to allow for specificity.
- Subtract what’s extra to allow for understanding.
- Subtract what’s ‘MEH’ so people can hear and connect to the ‘YEAH’.
If how you talk about your offer(s) feels ick or off or like it’s not hitting the mark, it’s probably because you haven’t subtracted everything you AREN’T and as a result, exactly who you ARE can’t rise and shine.