The Brand is Who You *Really* Are

4 Jun

I’ve had a recurring debate with a technology client about their positioning. Without going into too much detail, some sales and marketing folks are concerned that top management likes to “get their hands dirty” with client projects rather than stepping back into a more sales and management role — concerned that it might make the company look too small for corporate clients. 

My take: Embrace it.  Play it up.  Celebrate it. Let the market know that the top management is among the best out there — and they’d rather get out there helping clients than sit home at the office. It’s part of the company’s identity — one of the traits that separate them from the rest.

Your brand is who you are — the promise to your customers that you will live, every day in every part of your business. It can’t be imposed, forced or created out of thin air.  It can be uncovered, enhanced and amplified.  It can be aspirational and inspiring … founded on who you are and expressing who you want to become. 

It was fun to see Fast Company’s hip’n’cool cover subject allude to this in its cover story on Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s forthcoming effort to reposition Microsoft:

Bogusky explains that with previous clients, instead of hiding qualities that may seem negative — such as Mini’s tiny proportions or Burger King’s fat content — Crispin exploits them. “It’s part of your job as a marketer to find the truths in a company, and you let them shine through in whatever weird way it might be,” he says.  

It doesn’t have to be weird, but if it’s true, it can shine. 


2 Responses to “The Brand is Who You *Really* Are”

  1. Mike Keliher June 4, 2008 at 11:25 pm #

    Within reason, of course.

    “Marlboro: For the ignorant bastard who loves deep, phlegmatic coughing.”

    I don’t see that working too well.

    But overall, this is a great point, and there’s not much more beautiful than a person, group or organization willing to just *be*.

  2. Ken Kadet June 5, 2008 at 6:53 am #

    Ha! Excellent point… I was thinking more of corporate/company brands than product brands, but the point is well taken. However, the Marlboro Man certainly touched something people wanted to believe about themselves, anyway…

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