YOU are your brand

Here’s a nugget to spend some time thinking about as we start to wind down 2020. YOU are your brand.

It feels kind of funny to write that as a “brand” agency. From website development to logo design, all of the work we do is all focused on brand-building. We’re storytellers. Sometimes we use actual words, and other times we use visuals to capture attention, but at the end of the day, we’re really just telling YOUR story. It’s all about YOU.

This statement, that YOU are your brand, applies to all of our clients. Whether you’re a business or a non-profit, it applies. Coaches and consultants, accountants and financial advisors, estheticians and fitness instructors… people are truly investing in YOU at the end of the day. They’re buying access to your knowledge, expertise, creativity, and strategies. They’re also connecting with your awareness of where the washed-out bridges lie so they can avoid challenges before they come upon them.

Say you have a line of retail products – does this thinking still apply? Are YOU your brand, or are the products doing all of the work? The answer is this… You are the ones making sure your products are beautiful and functional. From the beauty products we support to the electronics and manufacturing companies we have partnerships with, each of these product lines’ success is still tied back to the vision and insights of the people behind the products.

So if this is true – if YOU really are your brand – what does that mean, and how do we make the most of this opportunity? Here are three questions we should all be asking as we slip out of 2020 and into the new year…

First things first – where did YOU add the most value for your clients and customers over the past year? This is an interesting question to ponder, as 2020 has been a year full of twists and turns. What worked pre-COVID may not have worked amid a pandemic. So ask yourself, how did we show up for our customers in 2020? You can answer this in two ways: What products and services did we provide for them, and even more important, how did we support them as people and humans over the last year – through their wins and their losses?

The next question is just as important – potentially even more important. How did YOU show up for your teams this year? Our brands and reputations grow through our external relationships, but the foundations are built internally first. This year has come with many new challenges and stresses for the people we lead and the ones we work with side-by-side. So ask yourself, how did we show up as a brand for the ones that represent our brand every day? How did we support the ones we work so closely with as we’ve walked through this year’s uncertainty and pressures?

Here’s the final question to ask. How were you able to lift up the other businesses and vendors that you partner with? None of us is an island. We all rely heavily on other organizations and their people to accomplish the goals and outcomes we’re chasing. So ask yourself, how did we live out our brand in the interactions we had with our closest collaborators and partners? Were there opportunities for us to help support them this year, and if there were, how did we respond?

If you’re all-in on the concept that YOU are your brand, then the answers to these questions are solid gold. The world is constantly watching how we show up. Sure, building a brand reputation begins with products and services, outcomes and results – but at the end of the day, our brands are built on us as people. The connections we’re cultivating with one another are the one thing that moves our work from detached transactions to real relationships that will stand the test of time.

Take inventory. What did YOU do this year that you’re proud of, and that makes you want to celebrate a little bit? How did you show up as your best selves in 2020, through the challenges, pitfalls, and pivot moments? With that in mind, since YOU are your brand, how are you going to kickstart 2021?

Ready for more?
OrangeBall Insights has always been a place to share ideas, explore our purpose and leadership, and chat a little bit about marketing. If this resonated and you’d like to receive weekly ways to bounce higher every day, subscribe here.