Building a business is scary. And building a breakthrough brand is even scarier. An in other breaking news, spinach is green and red lights mean you should stop.
Everybody wishes they were Apple. They wish they could just be so hip and cool that no matter what new products they roll out, people will line up for miles just to own one. They wish their own brands would have that “hipness halo effect.” But I’ve noticed in my years of marketing and branding, that there is one common trait across many of these companies:
They don’t want to take the risks and they don’t want to do the work.
They think they can just revamp their website and update their colors and all of the sudden people will think they are “cool.” They forget the fundamentals of brand – and that they need to revamp their company, culture, innovation inside and out. And that takes balls, to be frank. You have to be willing to lead, to say “black” when all of your competitors are saying “white",” to take the road less traveled or try not to use the same old industry jargon in al of your marketing campaigns. To differentiate and stand out, you have to DIFFERENTIATE AND STAND OUT.
And that scares the bejeezus out of most risk-averse CEO’s and the people who work for them.
As I state in today’s video, sometimes you have to face the fear if you want to advance. I was scared of so much during my brain injury recovery, but I just kept at it. I “faked it until I made it.” I could choose to crawl up into a ball and hide from life – but I chose to take a deep breath and plunge myself back into my life again over and over until one day, it felt comfortable again.
It’s the same with brand. Innovative leaders don’t get there by doing what everyone else is doing. They do it by taking chances, by standing out. They face the fear. I’m not advocating doing this willy-nilly, but if you have a well thought out brand strategy, you can make smarter choices – and smarter risks. And part of that brand strategy should include doing things differently from the inside out.
View the juicy video for Lesson #6 here.
Which risks have you taken that have paid off in your business? Which risks are you less willing to take and why?
BACKSTORY TO THE SEVEN LESSONS: What do recovering from a brain aneurysm and branding have in common? Quite a bit, it turns out. Recently, I got the wonderful opportunity to share my dramatic story at a Women Business Owners luncheon and I promised I’d post the lessons here for everyone. This is a seven-post series.
Lesson #1: Focus (and backstory to the series)
Lesson #3: Count on Your Tribe