The Tao of Branding
There is a way or “Tao” behind everything, including branding. One of my favorite aspects of my job is doing brand consultations with creative, interesting people. I imagine being a brand consultant is similar to being a topiary artist, both specializing in transforming raw beauty into a recognizable shape to be interpreted by others. It’s a vocation that comes naturally to me as a person that loves to contemplate possibilities and brainstorming ideas. Recently, one of my clients asked me what I thought made me different than the thousands of brand consultants out there. It was a good question so I decided to write about it.
Though I earned a degree in Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology, I honestly believe it is my experience as a fine artist/author/playwright that allows me to really connect with my clients on a deeper level. I not only advocate for arts & culture it is an integral part of my personal life.
I know what it’s like to have something to say but being unsure about the best way to communicate such profound feelings to others and the anxiety that produces. It is because I comprehend the journey of a creative beyond mere theory that sets me apart. Every time I help one of my clients identify their purpose, values, strengths and passions to ensure their mission is clear it brings me joy.
Creatives are usually a sensitive lot that wake up in a cold sweat at the idea of being perceived they’re like everybody else so we work closely together to create a compelling story that will resonate with their customer base.
If they get that far.
Unfortunately, there are many creatives that are offended by the very concept of public relations because they are terrified of being transformed into a soulless commodity for mass consumption. Fortunately, no one ever has to be worried about that working with me since my clients are chosen specifically because they are doing something radically different. My Tao of branding is like the theory of applying makeup…to minimize imperfections and highlight a clients’ best features.
Over the years I have met many brilliant people with ideas that could have literally changed the world consciously or subconsciously sabotage their careers for fear of being labelled a “sell-out” for promoting themselves. So they dim their light or remain stagnant in their comfort zone believing they are being noble instead of recognizing fear for what it is.
That is exactly why I created Demimonde PR as a holistically supportive agency. I tell my clients all the time that marketing is the art of promoting fantasies more than products and if contemplated in that light than all of those fears will eventually diminish. Everyone has their own truth (fantasy) but creatives feel an intense desire to project their truth using a product to express that truth/fantasy to other people. As soon as an artifact is produced and shown to anyone else it ceases to be private so in essence the PR journey begins there.
I believe that anyone that has been gifted with the ability to think outside of the box must exist to inspire conversation among those within it. Humanity has and always will need creatives or the species could never grow and evolve. I think creatives that wince at the idea of self promotion often forget how important they are in their role as midwives of change and the molders of culture.
They forget that ALL revolutionary ideas were first whispered in small, isolated spaces until the necessity to emerge from the shadows eclipsed all fear of being misunderstood, alienated or criticized by the masses and even amongst their own.
Bio pics, documentaries and history books only feature those that perceived the world differently, did things differently and had the clarity of purpose, guts and perseverance to accomplish their mission. However, if they (or someone working in their interest) had been unsure about their objective and failed to have a clear idea about how they would reach THE PEOPLE to help them accomplish their goals than nothing of note would have occurred. This is as true for George Washington or the McDonald Brothers. One went from being a simple farmer to becoming a national symbol is and the other went from being a little restaurant to selling one billion hamburgers a day during their lifetimes by understanding the importance of branding as more than a tool but a WAY.
It is my pleasure to help brilliant minds find theirs.