The Battles Worth Fighting For Your Brand

There is a dirty little secret nobody tells you when you start your own business.

You have to fight for your brand.

You are the chief warrior—the hero—for the promises you make.

Which means you decide when to lead, when to fight and when to rest for a new day. The sage chooses his/her battles carefully…

I’ve been working with an advisor—let’s call him “Jack”—who had retooled his practice over several years and was ready to rethink marketing his firm. Put yourself in his position. You’ve announced to your posse that you’re overhauling your messaging, your website, your marketing materials, really everything you use to tell the world who you are.

You’re excited—maybe a little anxious—but mostly just ready to rock-and-roll.

So you’re caught by surprise when your inner circle pushes back. In Jack’s case, employees, industry pals, even a client or two got VERY uncomfortable when we started pushing the envelope on positioning the firm. He listened carefully to the feedback and ultimately followed his gut on the balance between innovation and team unity.

The second battle is often with yourself. Because when your inner circle starts being critical, who are you going to listen to? That voice inside that tells you it’s time to break out or the people around you telling you to play it safe? Jack held fast—he’d come to the table very thoughtfully and was not about to be dissuaded by a few naysayers.

A third battle can come from the “experts”. In Jack’s case, he was referred to a web developer who was entrenched in the industry—which meant they were VERY tuned in to what his competitors were doing. But that also kept them from seeing what was happening in the rest of the digital world. They were stuck in an industry mindset and snarkily drop-kicked new ideas that didn’t fit their experience. Pushing for new/more/better required Jack to dig deep and uncover some “patience reserves” he didn’t know he had.

Innovation and paradigm-busting breakthroughs don’t come without a little testing, a little bloodshed.

When you’re making big decisions you can choose to swallow hard and stand by your vision.

Or you can water down your brand by committee.

Isn’t it better to be the hero your brand needs you to be?

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  • This post has made me think and start to dig deeply into who are we and where do we want to go with our business.

  • I love this. I just renovated my website – focusing on what I am most passionate about and leaving behind the things I can do but don’t love. It is hard to say – NO I DON”T DO THAT – when people will offer to pay you but I have discovered – with your help – to narrow the offerings and be unforgettable at them. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

  • Very important to be true to yourself. Also important to recognize what colors the thinking of others who try to influence you. I deal with political consultants who try to push a client to approve a whole array of sequential mailings in one shot so the consultant can go to print and all; doing so takes away any flexibility especially when funds are scarce to campaign finance rules cap expenditures.
    It’s important to know your own strengths and weaknesses and develop relationships, both professionally — an advisor such as Rochelle — and collegially to talk through all the naysaying comments.
    I enjoy trusted relationships and it makes all the difference.

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