“The height of the pinnacle is determined by the breadth of the base.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
This post is about value. It is about refinement. It is about being distinct at your core discipline. This is the basic entry requirement for those who want to build a brand of distinction.
(Warning – the rant-factor is “high” in this post)
A mentor of mine, John Assaraf once said that “price is an issue, when value is a mystery.”
Well put. I extend that to branding and say that “your brand has an issue, if its value is a mystery.”
Why? Because the word value is the reason a brand sticks in the hearts and minds of people. Value is the word that sums the complex experience that people pay for, and will continue to invest in, to experience.
And you either have it to degrees of distinction, or you have it degrees of dilution. You are either memorable, or forgettable.
Potency is key. What you want is to become a brand that is incomparable and free of rivals in a market where everyone can say the same thing, promise the same thing, and looks the same.
But your brand value becomes a tone of truth that no fine logic can compromise.
Your clients will rave about you, in a way that is consistent and congruent. The results they get don’t lie. And the trust you build by Word of Mouth (WOM) becomes self-sustaining. You aren’t trying to prove yourself, your customers are living proof. You don’t need to sell yourself, your value is understood.
You simply need to exist as a reminder of what you stand for.
That is the power of building brand value. It is piercing. It is what your brand feels it was born to do in the market, and knows it is the best at.
But it begs the question…
How do you become a brand that inherently has a high degree of value to share?
Simple. Three things you have to identify, exemplify and merge:
- What you, as the brand founder, are most inspired by. Something you can’t stop thinking about and talking about all day long. Unless you are inspired by it, there is no way you can force yourself to be great. That means, making sure that everything you do brings a high degree of inspiration to you. It is harder than it looks – especially in a world where everything is trying to make you do or be something you are not. This is about staying true to your heart’s finest calling. It is about being you by choice.
- What your brand’s natural strengths and talents are. That is – the things you do so well, but don’t consider to be anything special. Just like a star doesn’t think it is shining hot and bright, but it captures our attention as it shines through the dark night. You too have something that comes naturally to you and your brand. You don’t want to compete with others in areas of weakness. You simply want your strengths to be so vast, that you can reinvest to plug your weaknesses.
- What your brand’s core disciplines are. That means – practices you have dedicated decades to refining in the market. Whether it means coaching, aromatherapy, design or sales consulting – you must have a core discipline. I covered more of this in previous posts (click here to read). A core discipline demonstrates a tangible value that people in the market can connect to.
The intersection of these three, determines what you can be the best at in the world.
Give you an example – my inspirations are in personal growth and philosophy. My brand’s natural strengths and talents include: strategic thinking, copywriting (persuasive communication), and writing. And my core discipline is in life coaching, analytical consulting (engineering strategy and modeling) and reporting.
As a direct result, I am positioned to help clarify, crystallize and communicate an individual’s brand of distinction. One that is an expression of who someone is deep inside.
No question about it – I am the best (if not, I am on the way to becoming the best, inevitably).
While you might think that sounds pompous and possibly arrogant. I assure you – it’s simply truth.
Once you identify and clarify your strengths, the path of action will reveal itself.
When you take to the exercise of clarifying the above with rigour, I can share with you that you will arrive at a point where you whisper something to yourself, as follows…
“This is what I was born to do. This is where my innate greatness lies. And if I don’t share it, no one else can. Now that I see it, it must unfold inevitably.”
But it does take rigour. It is not just about self-inquiry. It is about pouring immeasurable hours and efforts to hone the experience you want to deliver the market. It also requires strategic thinking.
It is a combination of working smart and working fierce.
Look at any high performing team or world-class athlete – and you’ll find that they work their natural talents so hard, that you’d figure they didn’t think they had any talent at all!
It’s worth it, though. Sinking deep into what you can be the best at in the world brings about an unrivalled air of confidence and certainty.
A brand that has that, draws towards it the people and resources it needs to fulfil on what feels like it has already been written in stone.
There is a gravity to having certainty in your brand value. Seek it out, and sustain it.
The purity of the seed, determines the longevity of the plant.
Brand value. Brand vision. Brand clarity.
Scroll down to sign up for my newsletter and you’ll receive a copy of my eBook, Build a Brand of Distinction: What Every Entrepreneur, Coach, Consultant and Therapist Ought to Know About Creating their Brand of Distinction. The journey starts there.
For and with you,