Surprisingly (at least to me), there are several definitions of ‘bland.’ Here are just a few:
- pleasantly gentle or agreeable: a bland manner
- nonirritating, as food or medicine: a bland diet
- unemotional, indifferent, or casual: his bland ackowledgment of guilt
- lacking in special interest, liveliness, individuality, etc; insipid, dull: a bland young man, a bland comedy
OMG! I don’t even want to imagine a bland comedy. While gentle and agreeable sounds innocent enough, it’s not how I’d want my brand described. The others are pretty self-explanatory. If you’re ok with your brand, whether personal or business (frankly it can be a very thin line) being considered indifferent, dull, or unemotional, we need to especially talk.
When you think about Apple, Nike, Beyonce, Lebron James, Kim Kardashian, Uber, Fox News, Coca-Cola, or Tesla, does dull come to mind? What about gentle? What about bland? I suspect the answer to all those questions are absolutely not. That’s because distinct, unforgettable brands like these tend to incite emotion. They tend to have mostly raving fans or major haters, not many in-between. People have distinct thoughts when these brands come to mind. Strong thoughts. Nothing bland there.
The level of expectation and emotion associated with a brand tends to correlate with growth – both in influence and the bottom line. If you don’t agree, name a brand that fails to evoke any emotion or thought that’s successful. I’ll wait. Actually, no I won’t, but if you have one, drop it in the comments. I’d love to know who/what fits that description.
If your #brand is bland, it’s likely you’re stuck. Whether your clarity is stuck, your message is stuck, your ability to deliver major value is stuck, your level of influence is stuck, and/or your cash flow is stuck, stuck is stuck.
Hopefully you understand that the blandness I’m referring to is not all about your colors, website, logo, or business cards. It’s not about your packaging, the external. It’s a LOT more about what you represent, your messaging, your unique value proposition, what others say when you’re not around. That’s what your brand is really about. That’s the internal, what is really important.
In terms of your personal brand, you may be a lady known for carrying gorgeous handbags. That’s cool and may earn you some cool points. However your ability to negotiate and close the deal, or manage difficult people effectively will go further to propel your brand. Neither your sense of fashion or skill-set is bland, but the latter is likely to have a greater impact.
If your brand:
-is not memorable
-doesn’t resonate with your target audience
-convey the SWAGtastic value you, your product, or service offers
-does not have a compelling story
-does not rise above all the noise in the marketplace and…
-does not generate trust in the people you care most about
It’s probably bland in some way, and stuck in slow or no motion. Let’s fix that. Or not. It’s your choice of course. Perhaps you’re ok going into 2019 and beyond with a bland brand that produces more questions than answers, more liability than assets. If you’re serious about un-blanding, as well as magnetizing and monetizing your brand, we should connect. Although limited, there are complimentary Brand Breakthrough Sessions available. You can reserve yours here. Isn’t it time to get off the brakes? Opportunities and your next level are speeding by.
Connect with or follow Rachel here on LinkedIn. You can also follow her on Instagram @rachel.theswagstrategist. Rachel is an award-winning speaker, business and brand strategist, Amazon bestselling author, and founder of SWAG Strategy Solutions. Her clients turn to her to strategically tell their BEST brand story, as well as successfully marry online and offline marketing strategies. Her current book is Brand Sell Profit, which you can find out more about here.