Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Who are you?

When I was trying to IM an associate recently I got a funny away message that went something like this:

"Sorry. I'm away trying to find myself. If you see me, would you tell me I'm looking for myself? Or call me and tell me where I am, so I can find out where myself went. And if you find me by myself you know I've found myself and I don't need your help to find myself anymore."

I don't know if it's original, but it made me laugh out loud.

I can relate. In my life, I spent my 20's trying to find myself and my 30's trying to let other know who I was.

In branding, you face the same challenge: finding yourself and letting prospects know who you are. Finding yourself requires that you understand what makes your brand unique. Sometimes an outsider can give you perspective on that. But that alone won't increase sales. You need to connect with prospects and let them know who you are.

One of my favorite old ads is from the 50's for McGraw Hill's trade journal publishing arm. It features a picture of a dour, foreboding-looking corporate buyer seated back in his chair, arms across his chest.

The ad reads: " I don’t know who you are…I don’t know your company…I don’t know your company’s product…I don’t know what your company stands for…I don’t know your company’s customers…I don’t know your company’s record…I don’t know your company’s reputation. Now, what was it you wanted to sell me?"

As a brand, getting to know yourself is good. Making sure others know who you are is best.

-- Phil Sasso

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