You are not who you think you are

How many times have you heard someone say “I am who I am”? Defiantly.

Well, I don’t buy it. Neither from a person nor a Brand.

Nor indeed are you necessarily “who you want to be”. (You may be kidding yourself.)

You are what you DO. You are what you did today. (I could even suggest “you are who you are” when no one’s watching.)

Starbucks IS how the inspired/ friendly/ efficient/ welcoming/ slow/ off-hand/ forgetful Barista treated you today. AT&T is every bit as good or bad as your last dropped call. Millions of dollars, tens of millions of dollars, of slick advertising won’t get you out of lousy service. Or, worse, a broken promise.

Because a Brand, in my view, is just that: a promise. Under-promise and over-deliver and you’re golden. As – obviously – you are as a person.

(Make a promise, even a small promise, and fail to keep it – and you’ll spend need to spend 9 times the effort making up for it.)

In fact, any time a Brand thinks it can do anything that won’t be seen by all, it’s in trouble. Any time a Brand functions in a way that deviates from how a human relationship works (you can’t hide a thing from those you hold close to you), it’s in trouble. If you behave properly, consistently, keep your word, deliver on your promises – THAT’S WHO YOU ARE.

No blogging, no fancy TV ads, no twitter account – NOTHING will in any way substitute for what you, as a person or a Brand DO.

Today. Now.

“Don’t tell what you think, show me what you’ve done.”

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