Love, Service and Creativity — Not a Logo — Make a Brand

It can be hard to feel remarkable. But if you believe you have a purpose and are able to complete that purpose, your life takes on new energy. Imagine if your whole brand believed the same thing, from the inside out. Here’s a point of view, inspired by our new book, coming out October of this year.

Each person is remarkable, making your organization remarkable. In other words, an invented, inanimate object like a company doesn’t bring its own remarkability. Only people do that. It’s really the team — the people who work at the company — that bring meaning and personality.

So what would it mean to you if you really believe that your organization was remarkable? What if you could live out your values boldly and without fear of repercussion from those around you and your customers?

By the time you’re done reading this, I hope you come out convinced that, because of you and the people around you, your organization is remarkable.

Of course, the next step will be showing it.

“Remarkable”?

Let’s talk about what we mean by remarkable. Something that’s remarkable is worthy of making a remark about. They’re worthy of mention. There’s some way in which they stand out. And it takes a little bit of processing.

What are the signs of a remarkable person? Sometimes you want to talk about what an awesome person someone is. Other times you want to talk about what a genius they are. Some other times you want to think about what a beautiful soul someone has, and how that stands out in their work.

Basically, being remarkable is what it means to be human.

At Resound, we think everyone is remarkable. We also think that this makes every brand remarkable.

But remember, it’s not the brand itself, but the people within the brand that we interact with everyday and who make all the decisions. Its their actions and decisions that tell us what to think about the brand.

  • It’s the salesperson who we first meet.
  • It’s the web designer who designed this website that were looking at as we try to discover what this brand is and what they stand for and who they are and what their style is.
  • It’s the CFO who makes decisions about where the money goes. And then what we see on the outside as a result of that.
  • It’s the operations manager who decides the balance between efficiency and human genius coming through all the work.
  • It’s the customer service person who folds their own personality into the brand as they are speaking for the brand. Serving clients on behalf of the brand.

Why do Individuals Matter So Much?

Why is this whole branding thing so effective? And why do so many brands develop their personality and presence so much, even adding the brand’s value to their balance sheets? Why is it such a big deal?

First off, let’s remember how wealth is created: through trade. The more this happens, the more people’s lives get better.

Let’s say I go to the store to buy milk. The milk is worth more to me than my $4 (or whatever milk costs). The $4 is worth more to the store than the gallon of milk. So we make the trade, and we both thank each other.

Now let’s carry that same principle over to human relationships. Humans are made to be relational. When someone smiles at me, it doesn’t cost them much, but it gives me joy. When someone appreciates my work, the same thing happens.

Great brands serve, even before you’re a customer

We’re meant to both give and receive things like this. It’s extremely healthy. And this is what great brands do.

Nike isn’t just a running shoe; it’s an encouragement. I may not feel like getting up and going running, but Nike makes me feel like I’m gonna be awesome if I do.

GoPro isn’t just a camera; it’s a contagious spirit of adventure. When I see a GoPro ad, I want to get away to the mountains.

Southwest Airlines isn’t just a plane ride; it’s a feeling of joy. United may hate me, but I actually think Southwest really likes me and is glad I’m there.

We were never meant for isolation

We weren’t supposed to be isolated. We were made for relationships. And those relationships lead us to connect with others in ways others need to be connected with. They lead us to serve others. We offer something of value hopefully every time we talked with somebody. We give something. And hopefully, they give something. And when this happens enough, wealth is created in the society.

You see, even before the transaction is made, two people are giving something that cost them very little but means very much to other people. It’s that act of love. It’s that connection. That smile when you’ve had a rough day. That extra effort to make your life better when you go into your bank. It’s that smile, the handshake, and eye contact. It lets you know you’re human and valuable.

Sure, there are times when you don’t really believe the person on the other end of the handshake. You’re pretty sure they’re just using you to get to your money. But that’s rare.

Yeah, But Why?

In addition to making you money, and taking headaches away from your company because of all the great relationships that you have with people both inside and outside, it’s your job.

Let me say that differently. It is your duty. We are made to serve others. You may not believe this, but this is what our theory about branding rests upon. We’re meant to create, to show love, to serve. We use our gifts to do that. This is our purpose. We’re more fulfilled in serving and helping other people.

But what if you are not living out your god-given reason, what if you’re not interested in being remarkable? What if you’re not buying any of this?

Plenty of companies are this way. They’re set up to make money. They may even put shareholders above everybody else. And while this creates order within the organization and clarifies who you really are responsible to, it ignores that you’re meant to serve everyone around you. In fact, even shareholders are serving employees by making a place to specialize in their gifts and talents, making a living, serving others in love.

But there are those cold environments where you feel like you’re an inch away from being downsized. And that’s a bummer. But that’s not the way it has to be with you.

All companies have the potential to serve radically and visibly. But as remarkable as they are, they just don’t know how to show it or really live it out. So the question becomes, “Are you acting in accordance with your remarkableness?”

Some practical ways to do this are establishing culture through purpose and values, and then by applying them well throughout the organization. We have webinars to help companies gain an understanding of how to do this.

Is Your Brand Remarkable?

We know that there are big, popular, beautiful brands we think of as remarkable. They spend a lot of money on marketing, their leadership is high-profile and expensive, and they maintain a nice, tight focus, doing one thing really well. You think of Virgin Airlines, GoPro cameras, Nike and Apple. But you could never get to that level, right? You don’t have what it takes to get to that level of remarkability. Or do you?

There’s no way of knowing if being your authentic self can propel you to the levels of those brands. But being your authentic self can create a real advantage, both within your company and without.

But why should I believe that my company can have the same focus and excellence as Nike? The answer — and this is the point of all this — is in you and the people around you who come to work every day. In order to live it out, you have to believe it. And to believe it, you have to focus on each individual and think about whether they’re remarkable. Realize that each one, but especially the leaders (the ones with the vision), have personalities and skills and abilities.

What’s Next?

There are plenty of tools out there that will help you understand how to magnify people and their ability to build the brand and culture. But if you come away with nothing else, remember this: in order to believe that you could achieve the status, or at least the focus, of a Nike, you have to believe that the people that make up your organization also make that organization remarkable.

Why are we so interested in this theory about branding? Because we love branding. But also because we are writing a book. And we’d love to have you join our club. Support us by going to our book page and finding out more, then sign up for the newsletter. We’ll keep you posted on our proposed launch date, which is sometime around October of 2019.

Whatever you do, be remarkable.