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Jan 4

Brand Strategy

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Let's clear the air on a few things that have been brought to my attention. By omission, inference or mislabeling on our part, some have misinterpreted the intention and design of this group and our products. For my role in that, I apologize and take responsibility.

Here's a list of things for a future conversation. Sorry if this is super obvious, but I'd rather be obvious at this point than be unclear.

  1. Being good at your craft is a noble thing. You don't need to feel less than because you are an amazing calligrapher, designer, developer.
  2. Tools are tools. How you use it and what utility you get is more a reflection of the person than the tool. A pencil, hammer, computer, and book are all tools. Because you buy a thing doesn't make you an expert at that thing nor does it guarantee that if you don't put in the work, that transformation is automatic.
  3. Have a bias towards action. Thinking is good. Doing is preferred. At some point, we all have to test our theories by applying them.
  4. Having an opinion is healthy. Being able to change one's mind is also healthy. Changing your opinion is not hypocrisy.
  5. People use labels that are easier to understand by others, even if that's not necessarily accurate nor understood. This is entirely up to each individual to determine what responsibility each label carries to others. I don't believe any of us have a right to tell another what they can and can't call themselves.
  6. Underpromise. Overdeliver. It has been a successful formula for my career. If you get yourself into deep waters, ask for help. Admit you don't know what you are doing. Most people will forgive you.
  7. Everyone has a right to believe what they believe, say what they want to say, and do as they do as long as it doesn't hurt others. Respect this.
  8. Branding, Brand Strategy and Facilitation are difficult things to do. I don't think there's any consensus as to what it is, the ideal way to do it, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't all strive to better understand it in the interest of serving our clients and community. In general, facilitation requires broad knowledge and ability to spot patterns and connect dots.
  9. Having learned it, I saw the tremendous potential of adapting it for my own uses. It was the first time I saw a direct connection between my goal of becoming a full service brand consultancy and working with the client. This is how I've used it. I've shared this inside the many Pro calls if others are interested in how I use it to write: messaging, the customer journey, brand positioning and how we translate attributes to design deliverables. It's powerful as an open framework that can be adapted for many things.
  10. I firmly believe that if done successfully, CORE can dramatically improve your client relationships. Is it perfect? No. What is? There are typos, and some old case studies in there. All of which Jose is working on updating. But that also doesn't mean that it is a flawed product. Thousands of customers have used it, adapted it for their needs and have been successful. It is not, a miracle, cure all, magic bullet.
  11. If you've never facilitated before, I suggest practicing with members in the community, doing it for free and having others review the work product. Once you get a sense of how it works, what value you bring, then you will know how to charge and sell it.
  12. Making stuff and getting paid is great.
  13. Thinking and getting paid is great.
  14. Work in the best interest of your client. Leave your personal bias at the door. This is how you gain clients for life.
  15. There is no magic number for your minimum level of engagement. It's based on your goals, how ambitious you are, and how many projects you want to take on. For us, the MLE is $100k. I suspect for some of you it's more. For many others, less.

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