Beyond Branding

Every business is searching for that elusive differentiator - How to stand out? I had been working in the branding business for over 25 years on big global brands. It was fun and I learned a lot but as a brand strategist what I found was I was trying to find the differentiator for a brand when there was often nothing different about it. This began my quest to create more meaningful brands that were truly different. That was 10 years ago.

My lightbulb moment happened when I was preparing my keynote speech for The Design Leaders Conference in Dublin, Ireland. The title of my talk was “How to Differentiate”. I was pondering the notion of differentiation when I realized that differentiation is so much more than finding the right words to say you’re different. It’s actually about BEING DIFFERENT. It’s hard enough to find the words but actually being different is a whole other ball of wax. 

My speech offered a very new way of looking at business differentiation and ideas about how to be different ranging from the way you provide services to your business model to the way you do client relationships. After my talk a design firm owner approached me and said that he was changing everything about his business. I had struck a chord! 

My goal now is true differentiation, beyond branding. When you begin with doing one thing differently, there’s a ripple effect and everything changes.  

Words of wisdom - BE DIFFERENT (for real) and don’t just say you’re different.