As you have probably noticed if you’ve followed this website or any of my writing ventures over the last 10 years, I pivot. A lot.
I have beat myself up about this quite a bit. Calling myself names like flakey, uncertain, lacking depth, lazy, mediocre, directionless, etc. etc. Scolding me for my inability to commit to one given idea, even though the underlying purpose has always been the same.
To communicate my experiences and findings in a way that can help people heal.
Whether it be through an insight, smile, or sign of relief that “ Wow, I’m not the only one who’s felt this”. At the end of the day, that’s all I want. To help you feel better. And then to help you feel better than better, to help you get the most out of this crazy earthly experience we’ve found ourselves wrapped up in.
So why is the “Name” and the “Title” and the “Aesthetic” such a point of contention? I’m writing this right now to try and figure it out. Because.. I’m still tripped up on it (clearly). I always have a new idea or new parameters for my “personal brand” that feel great until, they don’t. I’m stuck.
I studied marketing and have had a few career stints in it, including my current role that is agency adjacent. All this to say, I know a couple of things when it comes to branding. A ‘brand’ is the identity of a product or service. But it’s more than that. A ‘brand’ should invoke a feeling that prompts you to connect with said product or service. A ‘brand’ should be succinct, consistent, enticing, memorable and recognizable despite geography. A ‘brand’ shouldn’t change, because then part of the identity is lost and the consumer will lose trust.
Maybe that is my issue with personal branding and establishing a ‘brand’ identity for myself. I’m not consistent in the ways that a brand is supposed to be consistent. I don’t know if something that represents me today will represent me tomorrow. I don’t know if the thought I found fascinating yesterday is still going to be as captivating a year from now. I don’t know if I’m going to find this photo of my marble covered laptop case and coffee great for my Instagram feed after posting 10 more photos. And let’s not even start on keeping up a blog that writes within the same ‘brand theme’. The longest I’ve lasted here is about a year before I’m over it. (Usually closer to 3-4 months).
Maybe this is why I can’t seem to commit to any ‘brand’ identity I make for myself. I’m not a brand, I’m a person.
But personal branding seems to be the way of now doesn’t it? Wether we intended to be or not, we are all our own brands - publishing content for the world to see that is a reflection of the product/service/purpose we represent. Even if we don’t really know what that product/service/purpose is.
People are fluid, transient, consistently in-consistent. Brands are the opposite. How can I -for the sake of my sanity, growth and hunger to reach the world - make sense of this oxymoron? And make it work?
Maybe it’s letting go of the idea that I have of what a personal brand “should” be verses whatever it is I want to create. Comparison being the true thief of confidence in this arena.
Or maybe it’s reshaping my belief system around what a ‘brand’ is. Does a brand have to be consistent to be a brand? Maybe the word ‘brand’ needs to be updated to fit our now. A world that is learning to embrace fluidity and changeability in almost every other way.
This is a bummer of a blog post because it doesn’t really have a conclusion. It is, open ended.
Just like my brand. lol.
I’ll leave it with this question: Can people be really be brands? If so, how?
(and is the word brand a word anymore? idk.)