“I’m not a brand, I’m a person.” This line (or sentiments to its effect) have been popping up a lot on social media lately. Whether you want to call it the rise of the “anti brand” or a “brand rebellion”, some are interpreting this as the idea that you shouldn’t have to put on a perfect face or squeeze yourself inside some polished, professional brand box, like a lot of experts might have you believe, in order to be successful.
I have strong thoughts on this. (I bet you’re surprised! 😂)
Firstly, if you’ve created a brand for your business that makes you feel like you don’t belong, or that you have to “put on a face” to live up to its public perception, I’d question whether it’s the right brand for you in the first place.
Whether you like to keep a very clear distinction from your professional and personal life or you like a natural overlap of the two (personal decision here, zero judgement) either way, your brand should still feel like a place that you belong! If you don’t feel at home in and connected to your own brand, how can you expect anyone else to?
Secondly, who gets to define what a “successful brand” is? Hint: YOU do. Let go of all your preconceived notions of what a brand should do or be, and instead ask yourself “What do I want people to know about who I am and what I do?”.
You don’t need to hide behind a brand to give you credibility. You have experience, knowledge and a quality service or product. This is the point of difference you need and your brand should help you amplify that, not want to hide from it.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve met someone and they’ve said “Oh, you’re dressed in your brand colours” or “You talk just like your Instagram captions sound!”. While these comments make me laugh because they’ve obviously not intentional, it’s also a lovely compliment because it means my brand is a true reflection of who I am as a person.
Living and breathing your brand doesn’t make you in-authentic. In fact, I’d argue quite the opposite is true. When your brand feels like a natural extension of who you are, I’d say you’re exactly where you’re meant to be doing exactly what you were born to do.