Brand Differentiation

Your Brand Is a Work in Progress

Your brand is a work in progress, and so is mine. So too are the best brands in the world.

Brilliant brands aren’t perfect. They have quirks and flaws. They are constantly evolving, but that’s what makes them interesting and memorable.

We’re naturally drawn to quirks. If you have watched the TV show, The Big Bang Theory, you’ll immediately know the character, Dr. Sheldon Cooper. He’s a brilliant yet obsessive guy with a laundry list of character flaws.

For example, Sheldon’s OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) drives him to knock on a door in a distinct pattern of threes, and then call out the person’s name:

Knock, knock, knock, “Penny…”
Knock, knock, knock, “Penny…”
Knock, knock, knock, “Penny…”

The behavior is odd, but it’s memorable. It’s hard to forget Sheldon.

Quirks have an impressive pull on your memory. You notice things don’t fit your expectations, and that makes them even more memorable. This is a powerful branding lesson. Quirks make your brand unforgettable.

Ironically, most companies try to kill their quirks. Marketers work so hard to create the “perfect pitch,” the “perfect website,” the “perfect brand.”

But take your website as an example. As soon as you finish one website, you’re thinking about the next. The same happens with campaigns and product launches.

Your brand is in a constant state of evolution and growth, and the second you stop working on it is the second it starts to die. Your brand is a work in progress. The more you work on it, the more interesting it gets.

That means at times your brand is messy; it has imperfections; it makes mistakes. But it’s honest and real, because you care!

When you embrace your brand in progress you showcase your quirks. This can be in your sense of humor; your team; your vision; your authenticity. And as your company learns and grows, your brand evolves too.

A brand in progress is the hallmark of a Sticky Brand. Jeremy Moon, founder of Icebreaker, says, “I’ve never defended the status quo. I feel anxious if we are not in a constant process of reinvention.”

Icebreaker has baked evolution into its culture. Under Jeremy Moon’s leadership, every three years the company goes through a strategic planning exercise where they ask three very deliberate questions:

  1. Where are we today, and where do we need to move towards?
  2. What’s working, and what isn’t working?
  3. Who here is part of the team moving forward, and who has stopped growing and cannot keep up?

These are amazing questions. If you delve into them and really let them challenge your assumptions you can come up with some incredible insights — insights to lead change in your organization.

Embrace the change in your company too. You have a brand in progress, and that’s what makes it unforgettable.

Need Help Growing Your Brand?

If you’d like to discover how Sticky Branding can help you, let’s chat. Here’s a link to my calendar.

Jeremy Miller

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