Stand For Your Brand
As I sit to write this blog post, I’m honestly clueless as to how to start it.
After seeing and reading about all the events that have happened within the past week, namely Mr. Alton Sterling and Mr. Philando Castile, I’m still dismayed by all of it.
Not in shock (which that in and of itself is really bad), but just annoyed.
I was annoyed that, yet again, two men lost their lives to unnecessary, excessive police force.
Personally, I had to sit still for a day because the impact of what I saw and how it felt shook me, especially seeing a recorded live stream of a King’s soul leaving his body in a horrific experience in front of his Queen and princess.
I thought of my little sons, my father, my brothers, family, loved ones…
As I sat still, I cried. And I slept.
This was my form of escape, but only for a little while. After I slept, I was frustrated because I felt helpless.
I got up and sat to my computer with my Illustrator’s black screen staring at me.
Then almost like an instant, all the feelings I felt about us as a people, our history, culture, everything.
And I started sketching and drawing.
Finally, I came up with this graphic; a bleeding American flag.
Its purpose was to show the love for the country shown during Independence Day not but a week before the murders, but the horrendous feeling that this governmental system or country has not loved us in return.
As a matter of fact, our ancestors bleed and died, worked blood, sweat and tears (literally—imagine that) to ‘make this country great’…period!
I could have easily shared my graphic supporting #blacklivesmatter on my personal FB page only. And that’s all well and good, but my brand has values and it stands for something.
So of course, I posted it on ALL my business social pages and encouraged sharing as well.
What are you standing for?
One thing I’ve found that disturbing to me is the number of businesses, corporations and even personal brands that have not said one word about what has happened here.
Yet, these brands are willing for its clients or customers to fork over their hard earned money to help them build their brand.
Let’s get this straight. People buy from people. We purchase from a business because of the experience we need or want, as well as purchasing from a brand we trust has our BEST interests at heart.
And it doesn’t have to be #blacklivesmatter; although, standing for this movement at this time will show understanding toward a group of people that spends possibly over $1.1 trillion.
Your brand should have a list of brand or company values that matter to the company and also its consumers.
For my brand, I am an Afro-Caribbean woman and the majority of my audience has been Black women. So by all means my values are reflective of the values that Black women struggle with on a daily basis.
Therefore, the products and services I create directly relate to how I can make my Sistas feel empowered, successful and free to be authentically who they are in life and business.
See how that works?
If you understand the culture and people who support your brand, you automatically are able to create things that matter to them most.
For those companies/brands that say they have a brand culture and are not currently exercising them, you are part of the problem. For those of you who are business or personal brands and have not crafted a brand culture, get with it NOW!
Here are 3 ways you can get started:
Think about your brand’s story
How did you get started? What struggles did you have? How can you use your brand’s story to inspire those who purchase from you? Someone could be inspired by how you built your brand and make a change for themselves and their community.
Think about your personal story
What has happened to you personally that you feel can inspire your buyers? Overcame Cancer? Talk about that. Have an autistic child? Talk about it. Loss weight? Talk about it. Experienced an ‘ism’: racism, sexism, or “creed-ism”. Talk about that.
Think about what angers you
The world isn’t perfect and there are many things in the world we wish can find solutions for to make the world better and people happy. Does poverty anger you? Stand for that. Does racism anger you? Stand for that. Does sex trafficking anger you? Stand for that. Whatever it is that angers you deeply (not just a fleeting feeling), stand for that within your brand.
The main thing is to create values for what you will tolerate as a message to your audience/buyers and what you won’t stand for. When you do, you will have a movement to leave a legacy with of making a difference in the world—and that’s what matters.
Then supporting #blacklivesmatter won’t be something to fear; it would be a part of what your brand stands for.
#standforyourbrand, hell #standforsomething, dammit!
Photo credit: CreateHer.com -Images for Women of Color