Are you a brand? The chances are that you don't consider yourself to be one. I never considered myself to be a brand, either. I always defined myself as the guy who tries to add value and make connections matter.
But then I read this statement by Seth Godin, the author of The Dip, ”Actually, if a brand is nothing but the promises made and kept and the expectations we have, then yes, I guess you are a brand. The modern kind, the brand where connection matters a lot more than ads or hype.”
I thought, if a brand is about promises kept and expectations made -- then we are all brands or at the very least a brand in the making.
I get breakfast from the same place, at around the same time, for over five years. When I walk into the restaurant I am greeted by the cook, we exchange small talk and then he asks, "The usual?" I respond, "Yes please." I then walk down to the cashier, and as I am paying for my breakfast, the cook says, "Have a good day." I respond, "You do the same."
It's a great experience not to mention he makes a dynamite bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich.
Unfortunately, today is the last day I will be going to the same restaurant that I have been going to for over five years. Why, because there is no more small talk, there is no more "Have a good day," and the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich is, well, mediocre.
The cook, the brand, quit about two weeks ago, and the new cook is more concerned with taking orders than building a brand.
So if you are not a brand then what are you? Average? A cog in the great industrial machine? In support of the status quo?
Unfortunately, average is no longer good enough because average is replaceable. Average is a race to the bottom. The new currency of attention and trust is looking for the brand.
The person who does the work, who takes the responsibility, who challenges the status quo, who changes individuals and does not wait for permission, is valuable. The good news is that the brand is not born he made through consistent focus and action.
If you want to become the brand then it's vitally important to find what you are most passionate about? People who do the work with passion are always looking for ways to make ideas happen.