I’m not sure about you guys but when we get to this time of year I suddenly find myself thinking a lot about the generation of young folks who have to make it out there. Maybe it’s the exam season, or just the state of the damn economy that’s getting me into this frenzy. I’m not sure really.
However, whether you call them generation X, or Y, or any other strange adjective, be sure to know that things are more hectic now than ever before. The world that has been created for our future generations is quite messy, and we’ve done a crap job of leaving a legacy of hope. Well, that’s one way of looking at things I suppose. Imagine though, we learned to work with what we’ve got. That doesn’t mean accepting failure, negativity, violence, anger and hatred. It just means preparing yourself to live in the world you have now. That way, it will mean you have hope and stamina for fixing things for your own future.
If you are constantly fighting your own pessimism, cynicism and other forms of ism that no doubt leave you depressed, then chances are you will not find a way to build a really good life for yourself where you are. You will constantly look elsewhere for hope. The funny thing is that hope lives inside of you, not out there. I believe that if you start to trust the world out there, you tend to give your personal power away. You could find yourself trusting everything you read. Yes, I know, it applies to me as well. Honestly, I would encourage you not to believe everything I write. I would happier if you challenged the things I say, because at least I would know that you were doing something positive with your mind.
I am concerned we easily accept advertising, brand messages and promises from politicians as the only worthy truth. What this tends to do is miraculously turn us into sheep. We will follow anything. It’s scary. And if you look at our younger generation, ask yourself how much influence branding and advertising has on them. My goodness I wouldn’t be surprised if just about every advert out there was aimed in some way at the youth. Our kids are more brand conscious now than ever before. They will make decisions about things just because of the way it looks rather than because it has any substance. Well, that’s the trap anyway. And I think we can avoid it.
If you want to get away from following blindly, or if you find yourself simply moving through life, going through the motions and feeling uninspired, you are probably looking for hope outwards. I think the only solution is to look inward and find your own brand. Over the past 6 months I’ve worked with a lot of young people who have confronted the question of “what is my brand promise?”
The process of getting people to see themselves as a brand is quite enlightening. If you ask a person whether they could be a brand, they respond emphatically, “yes!” But when you ask them why they would want to be a brand, they ponder for much longer. Eventually when a person admits it’s because they want to be liked, or they want to be noticed and recognised, they start to understand that living as a brand is not that easy. It means waking up each day and putting your best out there. Not because you have to, but because it’s who you are. So faking it, doesn’t count. Authentic brand messages are few and far between.
Do yourself a favour and take any famous brands out there. Take their slogans and ask yourself whether you think they deliver on that promise and whether they can be trusted. Showing yourself off as a brand is not about giving people what you think they want to hear. That would be fake. It’s more about living out your true self and enthusiastically marketing yourself to the world honestly. For the young people out there who are facing this mad world of work, you should as fast as possible get in touch with what you’re made of, and what you promise the world. Make it a believable promise. Make it one that you can live up to each and every day. That would be honest and true to who you are. We don’t need more fake promises adding to the madness, we need strong believe brands like you.
MARKETING YOUR BRAND PROMISE
- Spend time today thinking about what you are made of. What are your best qualities?
- Take a photo of yourself, look at it and write those qualities all over the photo, affirming yourself as you read them out aloud.
- Keep that image and place it somewhere that you can see every day. It’s your mini billboard of your brand.
- Consider all of that and write out a brand promise or slogan. What is it you want to promise the world?
- Live each day according to that one promise. You will soon be noticed, recognised and accepted.