Why you need to get ‘brand you’ right before you do anything

Bringing purpose into your brand story is one of the most potent things you can do to strengthen your brand. I have helped a number of brands do this over the years. Throughout that time, I have seen select brands accelerate the process. It happens when they follow a simple piece of advice I give. It’s advice that you can use to do the same. Here it is:

Clarify your personal brand before you attempt to do the same with your organization.

Sometimes, you have people on your team who will just hurry through the process of clarifying the organization’s purpose, selecting a few phrases they think sound good. But ask them to clarify their own brand, and they slow down. They become more thoughtful about how to define the purpose they serve. Why? Because now it’s personal.

Asking them to clarify their personal brand is a powerful way to help them understand how they should approach the organization’s brand. Go through this process first, and you will amplify the results.

Encourage your team to answer the same three questions that you will ask them to answer for the organization’s brand:

  • What are you best at?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What difference can you make?

All the answers must harmonize. In other words, if what you’re best at is in conflict with what you are passionate about, you need to rethink your answers. Or if what you’re passionate about disconnects from the difference you can make, you need to put a little more work in.

For a full explanation of the process to clarify a purpose, check out my book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story.

Once you have the answer to those three purpose-clarifying questions, put them into one statement. Here is the structure I give in the book:

We ______ (The answer to What are we best at?)

So that ___________ (The answer to What are we passionate about?)

And as a result that ___________ (The answer to What difference could we make?)

Here’s the bonus tip. Try to eliminate using the words ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘our’. Even ditch that first ‘We’ I start with above. Try starting with “To” instead.

The intent is to make this statement about those you hope to serve and the difference you will make for them.

I know. It’s your purpose statement. But the secret to creating a really great one is to make it about others and not about you. Try it. First with your personal purpose statement. And then with your organization’s. It’s not always easy. But you’ll discover that it is worth the effort when you uncover something that proves to be undeniably inspiring.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable, and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.

Originally published at https://www.dansalva.com on February 6, 2021.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail.

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