Brand Motivation – Do You Know Yours?
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about brands and how to build them. What I’m finding is that in order to create a good brand for our clients, we find it important to understand their brand motivation. In other words, why do so many people spend so much time, money, and effort building their brands, and how will we know when they’re satisfied with what we’ve created?
Quite simply I believe brand motivation comes down to five basic drivers:
Top of the Hill.
Skill. Is your motivation based on the ability to practice something you do well? Many professionals – from accountants to zoologists, acupuncturists to zoning engineers – build their brands solely on their professional functions.
Will. Perhaps your motivation is based on your strong desire to make something happen. Whether it’s an altruistic calling to make the world a better place, a need to design your environment, or a longing to build a better mousetrap, many business and personal brands are guided by the will to accomplish something better or bigger.
Thrill. If your personal brand is built around the adrenaline shot you get from doing something exciting, then this might very well be your motivation. You don’t have to don a flying squirrel suit and go jumping off a mountain to find business thrilling, by the way. Often the pure entrepreneurial charge of starting a business and making payroll can be more than enough.
Bill. Perhaps it’s almost too obvious to bear repeating but lots of people build businesses and brands simply to make a profit. If revenue is your primary motivation, and how much money you accumulate and keep is the way you keep score, then this is most likely your brand motivation.
Top of the Hill. Maybe your brand motivation is all about being on top, winning the game, proving to yourself and the world that you’re the best out there. If this is the case, then Top of the Hill is probably the reason you’re in the game in the first place.
Yes, there are as many motivations for doing things as there are people who do them. But if you step back from your marketing efforts for a moment and truly look at the why of what you do you’ll probably find some insight into building a better brand.
The ironic and counter intuitive thing is that the best brands are not actually about the person or company that creates them at all. Instead these brands are all about what that company’s customers want and how the company’s brand makes those customers feel about themselves. As I’ve said many times before: “A good brand makes people feel good. A great brand makes people feel good about themselves.”
Knowing your brand motivation, whether it’s Skill, Will, Thrill, Bill or Top of the Hill is a great place to start. And it’s a great way to establish the most compelling intersection between your brand and your customers’ best selves.
Here’s what New York Times best selling author Randy Gage says about All About Them: “Buckle up. Bruce’s book is a rollercoaster of riotous righteousness on branding, positioning, marketing, and the mighty madness of messaging.”