This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee.
Apple is probably the most successful brand in the world today. But what is the brand? What does it signify to us? What does it make us feel?
In India, I have asked many people this question. Most feel it’s about status. If you use Apple products you are rich. It means you have arrived.
Steve Jobs, however, had a different idea. He wanted to make the Apple brand not about gadgets, although it had something to do with status as we Indians intuitively grasped.
Apple is about thinking differently and putting a ding in the universe.
It always celebrated people who thought differently and were ahead of their time.
Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Einstein, John Lennon – if they were alive what devices will they use?
An Apple, according to Steve Jobs.
People who think differently, people who are outliers and take human civilization forward are the kind of people for whom Apple builds their products.
That is the idea Apple pushes through every branding activity.
What does Nike stand for?
Celebrate great athletes. Not shoes or yoga pants.
Lifebuoy promotes cleanliness not soaps.
What is Subway all about? It does not brand itself as a sandwich company. It promotes the idea: eat fresh.
(Although I am not so sure how fresh or healthy those sandwiches actually are!)
Great brands stand behind an idea, an inspiration, a cause.
At LawSikho, what is our brand?
We do many things very differently from anyone else has ever done. We have always chartered our own path and experimented and introduced new and innovative courses before the industry has even imagined them.
However, the core idea is not innovative and useful courses, though that is exactly what we sell.
The core idea we promote is: prepare for success in an imperfect world, prepare hard, prepare more than everyone else. In a winner-takes-all world, preparation is our artillery.
It is not the smartest or the strongest who take the prize, the game is won by the most prepared candidate. Elite tags and prejudices can be beaten with adequate preparation. Practice like a champion, go further than anyone else will, and you will be unstoppable.
At LawSikho, this is what drives our work, this is what informs our innovation, this is what we expect from our colleagues, this is what we ask from our students. This is why some people love our courses, buy entire course libraries after experiencing one course and this is what our counsellors talk about when they speak with potential customers
Do not think that branding is only for companies and businesses.
As a person, as a professional, in your workplace, on social media and amongst your friends, you have a brand too.
What makes you stand out? What do your friends think when they hear your name? What do your colleagues say behind your back?
Do they see you as a no-nonsense, performance driven, firm but fair boss? Or are you the quintessential office asshole?
Do your colleagues think they can come to you with their personal problems and dilemmas?
Do they count on you to save the day in difficult situations?
Do they expect you to be the life of the party? Or are you the party organiser everyone looks up to in order to make any occasion special?
Are you the creative guy who everyone wants in brainstorming sessions?
Or the crafty negotiator clients want on their side of the table while negotiating important deals?
Are you the problem finder or solution giver?
Are you the diplomat people call upon to diffuse tension or the rebel who speaks truth to power?
Are you the source of gossip, wisdom and encouragement near the water cooler or smoking lounge?
Or are you the insignificant, invisible, faceless person nobody notices?
You could be a nobody and still be the fly-on-the-wall observer. That could make you remarkable.
What is your brand before judges as a litigator? Just another face in an ocean of black coats? Do they trust your submissions based on positive past experience? Do they respect your competency or integrity? What do you have to do in order to earn that respect and build that brand with the bench?
Your brand has a great impact on your career.
Whether you like it or not, you are building a brand with your actions and inactions. You may as well plan it and give it a direction that helps your growth.
Just keep these questions in mind:
Is your brand worth celebrating? It is not important that everyone may love it. But what does it mean to the kind of people you want to work with?
Is it authentic? Fake brands are very hard to sustain. It all falls down like a pack of cards eventually. Aim for being true to your claims and statements. A brand that is not trustworthy is not a brand that can survive.
Is it consistent? You can’t change your core message now and then and expect to create a viable brand.
If you want to add the dimension of always being prepared ahead to your personal brand, please sign up for a LawSikho course that is open for enrollment right now:
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