So I’m an independent communications strategist.
After 20 years of diversified experience in communications and marketing, working for a superior, I was gladly dismissed by my last boss nearly 7 years ago. I was pregnant at the time that startup failed and being sacked was the best thing that happened to me and to my family: First of all, I no longer had to endure the endless days, sit through pointless meeting and juggle that inevitable working mom’s juggle between work and kids. But then, I had to figure out what’s next.
The “next” didn’t happen immediately. But as soon as I made the decision to remain my own boss I realize I will have to face the business questions: Who am I? What am I offering? What is my unique selling proposition? What sets me apart from my competitors?
For some reason, although these questions and some more are the first set of questions I present my clients, this client, meaning – myself, had decided to postpone the work on my own brand. Every project I received justified the “I don’t have time for it now” and postponed it a little more.
Employees are hardly ever responsible for creating an employer’s core values or market-positioning statement — a succinct summary of “what makes us unique” and the foundation from which a company develops all communications. This information is handed down to the employee – I should know, I’ve created some with my clients.
But here, now, “L’État, c’est moi”! I am it. Branding has to be done by me, for me.
Where should I start?
Truth is, I never did. I mean, I did start it. Many times. Spent hours thinking and writing, but never got round to the finishing. Remained a sort of barefoot shoemaker.
Branding and the holidays
Why talk about it now? Every time there is a period of holidays, usually characterized by a week plus long school vacation, workload drops and I find myself with some time to check on my own business. Look again at that checklist I have been adding to every now and then. So every holiday, I get back to the basic, very first assignment on the list and wonder how comes this, my very flag, my best, my talent, I dread the most? What will people think about the shoemaker’s shoes?
Manolo Blahnik, Shoe Designer