The definition of you

Good brands define themselves more by what they are than by what they aren’t.

Every now and then it can be useful for Coca-cola to say they’re not Pepsi for ‘x’ number of reasons. But a more useful approach, one that tells an interesting story, is one that defines the brand by what it is rather than by what it isn’t. For example, Apple chooses to market themselves by promoting their simple yet functional design and innovative products. They run ads that show how their hardware and software enhance the human experience. Samsung (until of late) has promoted their brand by saying they’re not Apple because they produce more durable products, or their batteries last longer.

Both approaches appeal to different audiences. But only one fosters a loyal fan base.

We do the same thing with our personal brands.

When it comes to our political views, our opinions on relationships, our belief system, our philosophy on business and life, do we define ourselves by what we doubt? Or by what we know?

We love expressing our ideas on why someone isn’t doing something we agree with. But we aren’t as quick to talk about the things we do agree with. It’s so much easier to look at what’s happening around us with disgust and dismay. It’s a much harder task to decide to accentuate the positive.

So, when your child comes home from school, do you first nag them about their room still being messy? Or do you choose to tell them how proud you are of them for all the hard work they have been putting in at school? When your manager decides to implement a new incentive program that only distracts from doing your job well, do you make snide remarks (either vocally or otherwise)? Or do you first try to understand where they are coming from, then look for the things you do like about the new program?

It’s a shift in attitude. It shapes who we are and how the world sees us. It influences how we view the world. It defines us. And it makes all the difference.