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No, I Don’t Want to Talk About Your Brand Pillars


I don’t want to talk about your brand pillars and I also don’t want to review the powerpoint of your brand archetypes or take a look at your unique selling proposition. I’m not minimizing them, I’m sure you spent a lot of time with people who care deeply about your brand sifting through ideas and coming up with concepts that everyone could agree on. There’s no doubt you put work into it. I just don’t want to talk about any “brand model”  that makes you sound like anybody else in your industry, and for most change-making organizations, those approaches will do just that.

How many times have we seen a set of values/pillars/key drivers on a website or posted on the wall: Excellence, Respect, Integrity, Community. If they were on an Instagram post, couldn’t we all respond “same”? So why do they even matter?

In this age of chronic information overload, access to mounds and mounds of content, and messages coming at us a million miles an hour, 24 hours a day, what matters is what makes you DIFFERENT. What is the essence of your work, what’s the big idea you are striving for? What is your authentic, real feeling about the people you serve, why in the heck do you work so hard to disrupt, change, improve? In short, why should anyone invest their attention, time and money in you? If you sound just like three other organizations I heard from today, you are lost in the clutter and noise.

So the next time you’ve got something to say, give me your thoughts, give me your beliefs, give me your emotions, but don’t give me your brand pillars.