Live it: What does it mean to live your brand?
“Your Personal Brand: Find it. Own it. Live it.” We’ve arrived at the third leg of the LEAP battle cry. What you do with your brand is a true test of your commitment to yourself. You have a branding platform you believe in and you are putting it out there for the world to see. What’s next? What does it mean to live your brand?
If you’ve mastered “owning” your brand, “living” it could come naturally. If you’re still in the process of learning to own your brand, you might need some tools to help you. Here are the items you need for your toolkit:
Physical object that represents your brand. It can be a photo, a memento, a book…anything that puts you and your brand front and center. It doesn't matter much what it actually is. More important is the brand presence the item brings out in you. Here are some examples of objects that can represent your brand: a magnifying glass for a brand that values curiosity, a family photo for a brand that honors your family, an inspirational quote that captures your brand.
Framework of what’s important. In order to live your brand, you need to sort through all the stuff that makes up your life and tag the things that are the most important, non-negotiable items; the components of your life you can’t live without. This will read like a top five list of different aspects of your life: Your core values? Your dreams? Your saboteurs? Make sure to capture all this on paper, on an audio track, or on video, and keep it in a safe, accessible location. You’ll want to use it the way you might use GPS even when you know how to get where you are going; you can read/listen/view the lists and let them guide you through everyday life.
Brand torture test. How will you know if you are “on brand”? Our lives are undergoing constant change and having a system for evaluating new developments will help you move your brand forward with intention, while avoiding unnecessary detours. This test can be as simple as asking yourself, “how does this support my brand?” each time you face an important decision, interaction, or event. Applying this filter will help ensure your path forward “leans in” to your brand.
Keep in mind that your brand, like you, is a living thing. It evolves over time. You will need to periodically check that your brand platform continues to inspire you. If you find the spark fading, it may be time for an update/refresh.
Go out there and live your brand!