Which is more important: matching your brand to your market or to your self? When companies decide on a brand, too often they base it on experience and the perception of what the market wants. They look outside for the answer. I think that’s the wrong direction. They should be looking inside.
Looking outside ignores the real you. It used to be easy to fake sincerity when people had limited options, less information and few convenient alternatives. But that isn’t the case anymore. Try to be something you’re not and the public will sense it. Once you’ve lost your customers’ trust you’ve lost them because they don’t have to “take it or leave it” anymore. Technology has dumped the world in our laptops. We can go down the street to shop – or order it from halfway around the world.
That’s why authenticity is important today. When companies are considering what to do with their brand, I think they should look inward and ask some tough questions. Who are you deep down inside? What makes you an authority? What have your mastered – and what gives you a sense of purpose? What is it you do to make your customers feel really good? Where is that maximum value intersection?
Too many companies base their actions on a segment of the market they think they can reach. They manipulate their audience by borrowing from outside forces rather than expressing their essence within. Why not work on attracting customers who like you (really like you) just the way you are? You just might create a new market that LOVES you too.
Buddhist teacher Sogyal Rinpoche proclaims, “Samsara is the mind turned outwardly, lost in its projections. Nirvana is the mind turned inwardly, recognizing its true nature.” I’m no Tibetan lama, but I believe that if companies actually based their brands on their true natures, they wouldn’t just feel better about themselves – the world would feel better about doing business with them.