Photo by Charles Strebor via Flickr (Creative Commons)
We fundamentally misunderstand branding.
It is not an ad exercise alone - at least, not anymore.
Branding is the creation of a facade which you must then deliver on in reality.
Reality means you do the work. You "operationalize."
Executives tend to think they are immune from the process. "Hey, don't bother us -- we're visionaries!"
But we aren't immune. We are not.
To make the brand we must break ourselves. Sufficient to be in a team, the team, our team. It is not about "me" -- again, not anymore.
The painful thing about life is that you aren't ever done with the breaking. You make one grade only to face another. What worked before does not work now.
To make matters worse -- at least for many of us who prefer the realm of intellectually challenging ideas-- often reaching our goals means breaking our mental mindsets. Really these are invisible chains, and we may not even see that we are in them.
Emotion work is intangible. Much harder to do. More painful to experience. But you can't grow, change and deliver without it.
Branding get slammed as fun for the superficial. But I say it's just shorthand for a goal. Customer satisfaction is the external marker but the real customer is you and your life's journey.
If you can dream it, be it and believe it my dad says. But then again, words are just mist and vapor.
To paraphrase Iyanla: "You can't get there without doing the work."