Branding is simple.

Are you launching a new venture in 2015?
Perhaps you’re hoping to grow an existing one.
Either way, you’ll be immersed in branding.
Branding is a verb.
It’s a continuous, progressive process.
One that answers some very simple questions.
Who?
Who informs everything you’ll do.
Your perspective and intention.
Your look, feel, thoughts and behaviors.
Your vision of the future.
Who is your karma.
Because who you choose to focus on, will ultimately define who you become.
What?
What is your laser focus.
Your passion.
Your unique point of view and expertise.
It’s your daring, meaningful and believable value proposition.
The one that attracts your who.
What is your why.
It gets you up in the morning.
How?
How communicates your what, your passionate point of view.
How is the motivating language, stories and experiences you create and share.
How is your art and your voice.
It sets you apart from others who say they do what you do.
Successful branding is simple.
Who, what and how.
Yes, it requires nuance and subtlety.
But it’s simple nonetheless.
What’s hard is the focus, discipline and unwavering belief necessary to pull it off.

You determine your truth.

Have you heard?
More investment risk may not bring more reward.
Aspirin may not prevent heart attacks.
And safer football helmets may not be safer after all.
Those beliefs may no longer be true.
Assuming they ever were.
Plato opined that belief is knowledge if it is true.
And if the believer has justification for believing it is true.
Reasonable and plausible evidence.
But is there ever enough evidence to create true knowledge.
Knowledge that is unquestionable?
Probably not.
Nietzsche wrote:
“There are various eyes.
Even the Sphinx has eyes.
And as a result there are various truths,
and as a result there is no truth.”
So if the inexhaustible search for reasons doesn’t define knowledge, what does?
Fascinating new research suggests it’s our ideals.
Our values and goals motivate our pursuit of knowledge.
And that self-reflective journey informs our beliefs.
Who we think we are and who we want to become is why we believe what we believe.
And ultimately, it’s why we do what we do.
So if you’re hoping to change your world, don’t start by seeking knowledge.
It will only confuse and frustrate you.
Start by changing the story you tell yourself about yourself.
And then let knowledge help it become a reality.

Consider this.

Gary Zukov wrote the following.
Pause and really think about it.
Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends on what we look for.
What we look for depends on what we think.
What we think depends on what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.”

You earn belief.

You’ve probably heard this expression:
“If you want people to think you’re funny, don’t tell them you’re funny. Tell them a joke.”
So why don’t more people follow that advice?
Because joke writing requires creativity, time, and effort.
It’s not easy to create something original and compelling.
And joke telling takes guts.
It’s not easy to risk failing in front of others.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you’ve got game) creativity and guts are what it takes today.
To separate your ideas from the scores of others in today’s saturated marketplace.
The days of buying attention and communicating belief are on life support.
People are weary and wary of messaging and marketplace promises.
Today you earn belief.
Through the tangible details of your offering and the inspired actions of your people.
So focus intently on your idea.
Have an ambitious purpose.
And understand the tangible issues that will ultimately make the greatest difference.
To your people and to your audience.
Then look at what you do, why you get out of bed in the morning, as an opportunity to stand out and rise above the growing sea of sameness.
Don’t spend your days pickled in a world of parity.
Marinating in minutiae while your ideas and unbridled spirit shrivel up and die.
Grab yourself (and your people) by the collar.
Yank yourself off of your comfortable, well-worn path.
And create something distinctive, meaningful, and emotional.