If you believe in a Higher Power who is ultimately undefinable, Apophatic Theology makes sense: you define your Divine Being not by what the Creator is, but by what the Creator is not.
Defining your Brand, and then Marketing it, has some similarities – you definitely have to know what you are not.
For example, I’ve had clients tell me that such-and-such social media expert has advised them that “you’ve got to do this” and “you’ve got to do that” with your social sharing, your profile photo, your blog writing, your web design, and so on. Oftentimes, messages like these simply translate to: “conform to these standards.”
But isn’t that the opposite of what you should do? After all, standing out from the crowd is a crucial part of marketing. Don’t be like everyone else – know and express how you are unique.
It’s Not Just Your Brand Color – It’s Also What You Call It
A lot of marketing is intensely personal. It should be. Things aren’t always going to go your way in your marketing and business development efforts, so why not start off by being completely comfortable with your own identity and brand?
One thing that is a joy for me as a marketer is helping people realize that they actually have a strong brand identity. It’s a bit of a revelation to people – an aspect of themselves that they didn’t realize before.
For example, I’ve helped clients define the brand colors to be used on their websites, social media accounts, and marketing collateral. That defining didn’t just mean identifying their web hex colors, but also NAMING them. Why not? It’s fun, and important. After all, when you welcome a baby into the family, you ALWAYS name it. So why not your brand colors?
So, even if no one else knew the names of their brand colors, these names can take on a life of their own, such as:
- The published author who specializes in Korea-based novels? True to the ancient tradition of Korean pottery making, the author’s greenish-blue brand color became “Celadon.”
- That orange-y color that evokes a certain amount of anti-establishmentarianism that is a crucial part of my client’s brand promise? No, it’s not merely Orange; it’s “Deep Tangerine.”
- For my part, the orange I use on my website and logo came from a beautiful shirt I bought while on a much-needed getaway to sun-drenched Avignon, France with my wife after my father passed away. It was a magical and sorely needed vacation to recharge our lives. Months later, and in need of refining my own brand, my designer friend who was handling my branding picked the “Avignon Orange” off the shirt I had purchased in Provence. To top it off, her decision was made while we were downing raw oysters and beers at a late-summer Renaissance festival.
As you can see, my branding and colors mean a lot to me, and it felt great to put my trust in my designer when she suggested the idea. If others don’t like it, that’s ok – it makes me happy. And that’s the heart of my brand.