Have you ever heard people telling you, “Just Be You” or “You Are Your Brand.”
Well it’s bull…
Yes, it’s a little harsh and I don’t usually get heated. (And you know I mean it when I start off getting passionate).
But whenever I see someone write this in an email or blog post, it makes me cringe and my blood boil.
That’s because I’m super passionate about teaching branding the right way based in my years of experience working on large multimillion dollar brands including Nestle Toll House, Lean Cuisine, and Toyota.
And “Just Be You” is BAD advice.
Just being you is not enough to make you different in the market.
Just being you is not enough to give someone a reason to buy from you vs. your competitors.
Just being you is a cop out way for coaches to teach branding.
Your brand has to BE MORE than just you.
Think about it.
Why would someone want to buy from Heather’s Fitness vs. Jessica’s Fitness?
By golly, it’s not because of Heather or Jessica’s name or their personality.
And if they are both talking about helping you lose weight, then forget about it!
People will view these two brands as similar (even with a different website layout or pictures) and start comparing based solely on price.
That’s not where you want to end up…competing solely on price. Eek! It’s the kiss of death for your brand.
A REAL brand creates true differentiation and perception in their customers minds.
Differentiation means that you offer something that ONLY YOU CAN OFFER.
That’s why Toms shoes hit it out of the park with their brand message. They were one of the first companies that created a sustainable giving model for every shoe purchased through their store. People saw them more than a shoe brand. They were seen as a giving company. So people didn’t buy their shoes because of price. They bought it because they believed in the cause.
Now the idea of social giving is a trend for businesses, but Toms was able to establish themselves as a leader in this market because they were one of first to do it.
That’s why Drybar grew rapidly with their unique blow dry bar concept. They were the first company to say know to cutting and coloring hair and focused only on blowouts. Because they focused on one thing and doing it really well, they became known for affordable blowouts that women can get on a regular basis. People didn’t see them as a salon and they created a whole new market.
Branding is so incredibly vast and is more than what meets the eyes.
But often, branding can be confusing and coaches teaching branding end up water it down by saying “Just Be You” because they don’t know how to teach it.
What happens when you “Just Be You” is that your message may not be that much different than your competitors. So even though you think you’re differentiated, you are actually not. Or more importantly, you aren’t perceived by your ideal clients as different.
Being perceived as different is key. So is people willing to open their wallets and pay for what makes you different. (Think of Starbucks and their $5 Pumpkin Spice Lattes or Nikes and their $185 Air Jordan).
If you don’t get this right, you end up not being able to book the clients you want because they don’t see the value in what you have to offer compared to other people doing something similar and won’t open their pay for it.
And even if you spend money on a pretty website and copy, it’s not going to help you be different or book clients. No website, photo, graphic, marketing funnel, opt in, FB ad or whatever else people are teaching is going to help you unless you find your unique selling proposition that makes people want to buy from you.
This is the biggest downfall — not finding what truly makes you one of a kind and your own voice in the market.
And if you aren’t sure how finding your unique selling proposition can shift your business, I did a training called Discover Your ‘It’ Factor recently and you can grab the training here (this one is free).
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