One of the first questions I ask every new client is, “What’s the weather that you bring with you?” In other words, what are the one or two things you (or your team or business) can be counted on to contribute? If the brand tone and temperament is the mood of your brand, your brand energy is the élan -- the flair, aptitude, and talents you bring -- always and under almost any circumstance. Over the past 20 years, I’ve observed 12 archetypal brand energies that most personal and business brands fall into. They are:
People with this brand energy are known for their strong, unwavering support of causes and policies they believe in. No matter the situation, they’re always a spokesperson for their campaign -- but not in an annoying way. Individuals with a true brand energy of advocacy inspire others with their dedication. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I am fully committed to this cause. It’s my life purpose.
• I’m willing to stand up for what I believe, even if it upsets some people.
• I believe that eventually the work I contribute to this cause will create change.
People with this brand energy are masters at hands-on action. From cooks to software developers, they bring things physically and mentally into being. They create something that did not exist before they applied their imagination, intelligence and skill. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I enjoy spending time alone creating things.
• I get excited when I have made something myself.
• I love learning new techniques I can use creatively.
People with this brand energy are masterful at bringing things together -- people, projects, causes. They intuitively seem to know who or what would make a good fit. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• When I talk to someone, other people they should know are always popping into my mind.
• I have an intuitive sense of who would work well together and mutually benefit from connecting.
• I get a deep sense of satisfaction from putting people together with projects they could contribute to.
People with this brand energy have the ability to move other people to action. They’re good at inspiring others to grow, collaborate, create and participate. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I enjoy inspiring others to be their best and reach their goals.
• I’m good at getting groups of people excited about a project.
• Other people tell me I have made a difference in their life and inspired them in some way.
People with this brand energy have the ability to bring together various elements (ideas, products, thoughts etc.) and combine them in a way that creates something new or improved. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I enjoy projects where I take multiple parts and put them together to make a new whole.
• I’m often asked to figure out how to make several separate things work together.
• People tell me I’m good at blending and combining things together to make something better.
People with this brand energy see problems as opportunities waiting for a creative solution. Rather than avoid problems, they embrace them as a fun challenge to overcome. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I’ve never met a problem I couldn’t eventually solve.
• I firmly believe there’s always a solution to any problem.
• My motto is if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
People with this brand energy seem to almost effortlessly turn goals and projects into action. They are skilled at taking an idea and making it tangible. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I’m good at getting things done.
• I find it fun to make things happen.
• If I’m given a job to do, even if I don’t exactly know how to do it, I’ll find a way.
People with this brand energy have the ability to imagine possibilities and then translate them into ideas others can take action on. They excel at thinking outside the box and are motivated by the energy of ideas. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I am constantly on the lookout for something new to learn.
• I am always getting new ideas from books, movies and discussions with friends.
• I’m good at coming up with breakthrough solutions to old problems and creating new possibilities.
People with this brand energy take something someone else has created and add value to it through a new translation. We have all heard a common song we know by heart performed in a totally new way and felt like we were hearing it for the first time. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I can take any raw material and make it better by what I bring to it.
• I regularly build on others’ ideas and make them my own by adding my twists to them.
• I’m continually thinking of ways that the things I see and use can be improved.
People with this brand energy use their ability to create a powerful narrative to generate change and action in others. Storytellers usually express their brand energy through writing and speaking, and sometimes through visual mediums. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I often speak in similes and metaphors to get my point across.
• I actually know the difference between a simile and a metaphor.
• I believe that one picture is worth a thousand words.
• I’m frequently told that my stories inspire and motivate people.
People with this brand energy have an innate talent for getting a group of individuals to engage in effective dialogue and constructive debate and ultimately come to consensus. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I’m good at helping people with different points of view get aligned.
• People often ask me to facilitate meetings and even conversations between two people.
• I’m able to see all sides to a situation and help others find common ground.
People with this brand energy often act as trusted advisors. They easily gain other people’s confidence through their belief in and support of others. The types of statements they might make about themselves include:
• I often have an intuitive sense of what other people are feeling and need.
• People frequently seek out my counsel and keep me in their confidence.
• I enjoy helping other people overcome their challenges and reach their goals.
What’s Your Brand Energy?
Knowing what your particular brand energy is helps you craft your brand-building strategy. By understanding your natural strengths, you can align your brand to fit who you authentically are as an individual, team or business.
Now that you’ve had a chance to look through these 12 brand energy archetypes, which ones resonate with you? While you may be good at many of these, there are usually a few that really stand out. Ask yourself which one or two ...
• Am I most known for?
• Do I feel I have a natural gift or talent for?
• Do others frequently acknowledge me for?
• Do I believe I bring to almost any situation I’m a part of?
• Can I be counted on to contribute?