You are not a brand

It’s my last two weeks working full-time at my marketing agency.

Soon I will bore you with diatribes about diapers and ruminations on recipes — but until then, my day-brain is in marketing mode. (But wait, there’s more!)

We’re currently re-branding a new client and have delved into the world of “brand archetypes.” As many of you literature or psychology majors may know “an archetype is a human type in its purest form: the classic hero, outlaw, ruler, etc. Each type has its own set of values, meanings and personality traits.” And in learning the 12 Brand Archetypes, I’ve found that it’s like a Seventeen Magazine personality test for companies to figure out their true selves. (i.e. Nike would be a “hero” archetype).

I found this all very interesting today and when I first started writing this blog post, I was going to title it, “What’s your brand archetype?”

There was going to be some sort of brilliant connection between your personal brand and brand archetypes and I would tie it up into some sort of pretty red bow.

But then, I realized that I didn’t like that idea. At all.

Mostly the part about your “personal brand.”

So I stopped writing and found this video by best-selling author, Seth Godin (also a recent interviewee in my Three Questions series!)

On the topic of Personal Branding, Seth shares with Entrepreneur Magazine:

“[As a waitress], your job is not to bring the eggs from one place in the restaurant to another — [patrons] can do that themselves at a buffet. That’s not why they’re coming. They’re coming because you are a human being, And what human beings do is art, is new stuff, is connection. Tom Peters wrote a magazine story years ago called, ‘The Brand Called You.” It was brilliant and it totally changed the way people thought of branding. But my new thing is: I am not a brand. You are not a brand. You are a person. And there’s a big difference between being Dell and being Michael Dell.”

I loved Seth’s point in this interview, because this ubiquitous “Brand Called You” has truly affected everything we do. Blogs, social media, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, etc. have not just changed the way we share ourselves — but the way we see ourselves.

Recently, one of my blog readers asked for some advice on how to blog more confidently. She felt that half the time she would write something — and then erase it because she didn’t like it. So I encouraged her to think about her motivations differently. If you enjoy writing, I said, do it anyway.

After all, you are not a brand — you have no set style guide or color palette to adhere to. You are not bound by a “brand book” dictating your tone or logo. You are a human being. And when it comes down to it, nobody else can do what you can do best:

Be yourself.

“You can do something I cannot do. I can do something you cannot do. Together let us do something beautiful for God.” – Mother Teresa

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