blog articles

Branding step 1: give up control

Or at least, acknowl­edge the areas you can’t con­trol.

Brand­ing reminds me a lot of Stephen Cov­ey — the 7 Habits of High­ly Effec­tive Peo­ple guy. He talks a lot about know­ing what you can con­trol and sep­a­rat­ing that from what you can’t. Real­ly good advice.

So one of the first steps in brand­ing is fig­ur­ing that out. You may own (be able to con­trol) what you say and do, but every­one else owns what they say and do. And they don’t always say and do what you want.

But before you despair over your lack of con­trol, con­sid­er this: being able to con­trol what your com­pa­ny says and does can be a pret­ty pow­er­ful thing. Espe­cial­ly if you have a gen­uine and gen­er­ous cul­ture. Because when your com­pe­ti­tion is try­ing to use adver­tis­ing buys (read: lots of cash) to get cus­tomers, you’re acti­vat­ing the word-of-mouth net­work of cus­tomers who’ve seen you be your­self. And they know you. And they’ll stand up for you. And nobody will believe the oth­er guy. No mat­ter how big his media buy.