Brand has become somewhat the buzzword. So much so that it seems many people have internalised what is generally accepted. That acceptance has led them to associate brand as something tangible, visual or physically manifested. Today, it hinders their growth because they initially have jumped into the visual identity to compensate for having a genuinely connected brand.
Where does the brand begin? Many today are perhaps quick to answer ‘purpose.’ Quite rightfully correct after a compelling message delivered by Simon Sinek on his TED Talk How great leaders inspire action. Simon solidified the WHY of a brand and how people connect with it. So here’s where it gets convoluted in the consensus of our WHY.
After speaking and interacting with many professionals about their brand and, in particular, the route they are currently in or headed down, they seem disconnected if not oblivious as to how the path they track down is a connected one. For some, they don’t know what’s next or how to expand or even if taking a decision is the right choice. If the WHY is supposedly established and geared to a mission, why the confusion?
When something disconnects, I go straight to the inner flow.
The WHY is why you do WHAT you do, an enabler to your WHAT. The purpose is rightfully the beginning of all that we do, though many use it to explain WHAT they do. Here is an example:
Our purpose is to get you noticed on the internet.
I’ve always questioned whether this is a strong enough pull? Is this what invigorates your core? Is this what keeps you awake up to 2am working on? Do you tirelessly work toward this one core fulfilment?
You see, if you were placed in a situation where you spoke with someone outside of work who wasn’t digitally influential, would you instinctively help them, or would it be a case where you direct them based on your working hours?
This is perhaps a tricky question that many would answer materially. Either they do not have the time, or being paid for the services is driving their internal compass.
A genuinely connected purpose does not require time, money or any resources. Our purpose is who we are without thinking. When called upon, we act within our purpose, forming our values—those values show up in our actions, our behaviour, what we say and how we say it. You act without thinking; it is connected to what is fulfilling you.
Perhaps when Simon said, “people connect to your why”, what he suggested is spot on; however, people connect through your values; it reaches them through their senses for them to make meaning from it.
A purposeless purpose does not serve you, nor will it your audience. A roadblock ahead can very well stem here.
Your purpose contributes to everything you do. Having a strongly connected WHY means you know where you stand. You become more inclined to a fight pulling you forward; your vision—a world that goes beyond you, a battle to the end.
A purposeful vision means that you intrinsically propel forward to achieve it.; you act without thinking. The trouble for many professionals is that they don’t have a vision, or it’s not big enough; it’s easily achievable or worse, it’s purposeless.
It is the one true fight that gears yourself, the team and your audience as a collective to conquer. There perhaps is confusion in the difference between a vision and a mission, a viewpoint you can read here:
Vision & Mission
So why have a mission? Well, to achieve the vision. If you have a mission without a vision, it’s like you throw darts with no dartboard. You allow external influences to direct your next move; you are not in control.
With all the critical pieces in place; a purpose, a purposeful vision and a connected mission, you can create informed goals. Goals that make the stepping stones for progress.
Your authentic brand is destined to nurture unhealthy connections without the correct flow. Do not brand without this most critical task. The potential in your brand stems from here.