I talk a lot about branding and the important role it plays in the success of a business.
For service professionals, that means having a strong point-of-view. It means taking a stand. It’s not about following; it’s about leading. It’s about having a voice and not being afraid to use it. It’s about standing out, not blending in.
This can be scary for people.
It means they have to put themselves out there. They have to have an opinion. They can’t just ride on the coattails of what others are doing. They have to innovate. They have to create something new. They have to lead.
But isn’t it easier and smarter to follow?
Isn’t it smarter to let someone else take the risks and work out the kinks, and then just model them? Don’t we shorten our timeline and minimize our own risk by doing that? Isn’t that the sure path to success?
While I’m not talking about reinventing the wheel here, I am talking about creating your own spin on it. And I believe it’s a necessity in business. You can’t do that if you’re just doing what someone else has already done, in the same way they’ve done it.
If you want your brand and business to be successful, you have to stand out.
The alternative is blending in. When you blend in you don’t give anyone a reason to choose you. Hardly the recipe for business success.
For your brand to be successful, you need to be willing to take a stand. When you play it safe you risk brand failure.
Here are a few more tips to help you avoid brand failure:
1) Embrace and share your passion
It’s next to impossible to be bland when you’re truly passionate about something. Think about great leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and JFK. They weren’t shy about staking their claim and sticking to it. That’s what made them great leaders.
2) Do your homework
Know your expertise. Know your market. Know your competition. Know your audience. It’s the only way to find the place you can stand alone, or at least apart.
3) Be willing to take calculated risks
Once you’ve embraced your passion and done your homework, be willing to take chances, put yourself out there, and yes, potentially fail. Playing it safe is seldom the core value of a great brand.