OK BGB’ers… today I’ve done something a bit different. I was feeling mildly bored with the typical blog post and decided to exercise my creative muscle a bit.
I decided to use the term kick ass branding, and create a blog post from all the letters, with thoughts on how it relates to building… well… a kick ass brand.
Once I was done, I realized that while this post was supposed to be about building a killer brand, the information is actually fairly universal.
It can be applied to business, to branding, or even just personal success and excellence, and to coin a phrase from the Army (well, their marketing team at any rate)… “Being all you can be”. (I know, I’m a dork… read the friggin’ label people, it’s not a big secret!)
So without further ado I present-
Waxing Poetic on Kick Ass Branding
FYI- If you’ve got thoughts to share, please drop them in the comments below. And if you enjoy this post please share it with the world via those handy share features I’ve got spattered around the place.
is for kissing good-bye to old dogmas and mindsets that force you to censor yourself and limit your thinking… that allow the perceptions and expectations of others to dictate the terms of your reality instead of your own perceptions and expectations of yourself.
Often the best brands beat proudly to their own drum and make no apologies for it. So go ahead… blow ’em a kiss and wave buh-bye, kay?
is for increasing your visibility in all the ways you’re comfortable with and that are accessible to you. Good brands become household names, cult-like communities, and inspirational stories to the common man.
They do that by raising awareness about what they’re all about in all the ways they possibly can, not by sitting around, hoping they suddenly get “discovered” by gaggles of people.
is for creating value in everything you do. Brands with the most loyal followings built those followings because they committed to providing value to people in whatever shape that value took.
They subscribed to the principle that everything you put out in the world eventually comes back to you tenfold, and chose to put out all the good things they possibly could. They focused on their people and in the end their people took care of them.
Some folks have been known to refer to this phenomenon as “Giver Gain”. I just call it old fashioned Karma, shedding her bitch persona and rewarding you for being good peoples.
is for kicking up your heels and expressing joy and passion for the services or products you provide and the people you serve. Amazing brands do what they love and love what they do, and it’s evident from the moment you connect with them.
is for allowing yourself to break down barriers and take massive action, even when you’re scared shitless that it may not have the result you’re hoping for.
The key is to always be moving forward, whether in failure or success, because even if you’re failing… when you’re moving forward you’re still succeeding.
is for sink or swim, which is the mentality you need to have that will help you overcome those obstacles and moments that scare you shitless.
When you give yourself no other option but do or die, you unlock creative powers that trigger genius moments and ideas that may ultimately become the “brand pillars” of your overall foundation.
is also for standing up for the things you believe in. Many (not all mind you, but many) of the most memorable brands became so memorable because they had a mission behind their movement.
They believed in something that was often even bigger than themselves or their business, and were out for more than just making a paycheck. They were out to make a difference and change lives in whatever capacity was available to them.
is for breaking a few rules when it’s called for. Sometimes it’s better to go with your gut and do what feels right, rather than the things you’re told are right.
There will always be someone in the world that holds a different point of view than you or thinks something you do isn’t “the right way” to do it.
What’s important is what feels good for you and the people you’re trying to serve. And when you’ve got a loyal following, 9 times out of 10 your sense of “right” compliments theirs nicely… that’s why these days they’re called your “right people”.
is for right and wrong and having the wisdom to know the difference. When I say break the rules, I don’t mean do it in a way that causes harm or hurt to others.
There will always be some things you can say or actions can you take that will fall solidly in the camp of right or wrong, both morally and ethically.
It’s up to you to know the difference and move forward in a way you can feel good about and be proud of.
is for allowing yourself to make mistakes. Whether you’re breaking rules or following the rule book to the letter, or simply doing your thing whatever that may be, you will always make mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes. It’s human nature to fuck up, and since brands are built by human, fallible people… it stands to reason that even killer brands can screw up sometimes.
One case that comes to mind is Lisa Barone’s post regarding Marie Claire and the supreme screw up from one of their people. Will that mistake cost them dearly?
It’s highly possible, but the point is this… everyone makes mistakes, even the best brands. People aren’t perfect. Humans are fallible.
is for noticing the awesome. The awesome around you, the awesome in the people you work with, the awesome in the people you work for.
Kick ass brands are not just about themselves they’re about all the awesome people that surround them and contribute to making them great.
It’s like awesome begets awesome begets awesome, and before you know it you’ve built a brand that attracts more awesome than you’ll probably know what to do with. That’s when you just sit back and express gratitude.
is for daring to be different. I know it’s hard for some people to be different sometimes. You want to play it safe, not make waves, not attract the wrong kind of attention, etc.
That’s OK, but sometimes daring to be different will yield results that just might surprise you. And it’s OK to start with baby steps. But being unique is what makes every person on this planet special.
Stands to reason that if you create a brand that is unique, that brand could end up pretty special too.
is for inspiring and inciting passion and loyalty. Killer brands do this and it almost seems effortless to the outsider looking in. But it’s not effortless… it takes commitment and having passion and loyalty yourself.
When people see that you yourself have the same passion and loyalty to your brand that you’re hoping to inspire in them, they open themselves up and begin to trust you. And when you’ve gained trust, chances are you’ve gained loyalty too.
is for never backing down and never giving up. If your goal is to build a kick ass brand that people look up to and trust, it’s not something that happens overnight. It’s not easy.
And sometimes it seems downright hopeless when it feels like there is so much competition in this world or you feel you lack the so-called self confidence required to do the damn thing (bull shite by the way). But do you think the big brands of today gave up when the going got rough? Not bloody likely.
Anything you want in life, whether that’s a killer brand, a million bucks, or a life filled with meaning… if it’s worth having it takes work and perseverance. So never back down. Never give up. Don’t let yourself down. And one day you will get there.
is for giving everything your very best. Building a brand worthy of respect means respecting the people you’re asking loyalty from. That means giving them the best of you that you possibly can on any given day.
No one is perfect, but when you’re honest about not being perfect, and strive to give your best despite those imperfections, that makes you someone worth looking up to.
And that’s what in the end, will translate into a kick ass brand.
Oh and don’t forget, comments below and please share this post if you found it valuable in some way.