What Ms. Caitlyn Jenner can teach us about branding.
Unless you have been trapped under something heavy for the past few months, you have no doubt followed the story of former Olympic gold medal winner, Bruce Jenner’s remarkable transformation into Ms. Caitlyn Jenner. On the surface, the story is about how our society currently accepts (or struggles to accept) transgender individuals. But, underneath it all, the real story is about how hard it can be to just accept (and embrace) who you truly are. No matter what your feelings are regarding the subject of transgender, it’s clear that Caitlyn is much more comfortable in her own skin than she ever was as Bruce.
When it comes to your brand, sometimes the toughest thing can be to truly embrace what your brand really is (and for that matter…isn’t). So often at Esparza we challenge our clients to not become distracted with alternate lines of business that are not part of their core brand. As a business owner, it can be tempting, to “expand” into new products and services. But, if these products or services are not alined with your core brand and its values, they will inevitably fail.
When Las Vegas attempted to brand themselves as a “family destination” in the early ’90’s, the results were disastrous. However, the moment they embraced what the city really was all about (What happens here stays here) – they experienced explosive growth.
Take a good hard look at your organization. If you are currently offering products or services that are ancillary to what you’re all about – consider evolving them, or jettisoning them entirely. That will leave you more time to focus on your true strengths. Food for thought — Subway’s worst selling item (three years in a row) — have been their pizzas.
It took 60 years for Caitlyn Jenner to have the courage to embrace her true self. When it comes to your brand, hopefully you won’t wait quite as long.