Part of the goal of your brand whether we are talking about your brand or your businesses’ brand is to stand out. Agreed?! You want to be heard above the noise, you want your customers to see you and select you above the others out there. This means distinguishing yourself, being unique in ways that make you stand out.
So why would anyone want to be like the default brand? The default brand is a term I first heard of from branding guru David Tyreman who wrote a book “World Famous: How to Give Your Business a Kick-Ass Brand Identity.” A default brand is how most people in that industry act and even possibly look.
Let me give you an example, when I say the word plumber, what comes to mind?
Does the picture of jeans drooping down in a less than flattering look on their backside when they are working under a sink come to mind? What comes to mind when you hear the word accountant? Or dentist? Or dietitian? Or realtor? Or nurse? Picture your industry, what images come to mind, what behaviors, what actions? Do you emulate these pretty much? I am crossing my fingers that your answer is a solid “no.”
The more you look and act like everyone else who does what you do the more invisible you become. It’s like dressing in camouflage and then wondering why no one can see you.
Going Too Far
A common concern is how do I know if I am going too far with how I am standing out? Good question. The answer is you are too far if the actions, the outfit, or behaviors are not authentic, they are not YOU. People will see through fakeness. Don’t do things just for the sake of standing out. Your actions and dress are meant to inspire others to do business with you.
What if a plumber showed up with a sport coat and then when he went to work took it off to show a pair of jeans with a collared shirt that was smartly tucked in and everything covered no matter how far under the sink he worked? That would make them memorable. They also would need to interact in an inspiring way and get your problem fixed to truly brand themselves memorable.
Your Line of Work
How can you be yourself and standout in actions? For your clothes, if everyone in your line of work looks similar, than there is a default brand look. No need to go out and get a new wardrobe. The goal is not to stand out on the street to everyone – purple hair, or too short skirt. The goal is to ask yourself “Are you invisible in your line of work?” Even if you are great at what you do, which I know you are, that is not enough to stand out. You need to act and possibly dress differently than those in your line of work to stand out.
Thinking Your Own Brand
Part of my own brand is gratitude. To stand out in my line of work, I took an opportunity to advertise my business and instead thanked several people that were inspirational in my career, people that I am thankful to have helped me and inspired me along my career path. The thank you did not include anything promotional. It was a thank you card that was seen by thousands of my target audience. Did I get new business from the action? Yes. Was it memorable in the minds of my ideal target market? Yes.
What actions in line with your brand can you take to stand out? If dress is part of the default brand in your line of work, how can you change things up and still be you?
Please share your ideas and anything you have done to stand out while being authentically you.