I’ve been a brand strategist since 2001. Almost all of my entrepreneurial career I’ve spent helping businesses have cool logos and websites.
Naturally, I pay attention to my own identity. My logos and websites are always in tip top shape. I am obsessed with how I am perceived to my target audience and people that work with me.
But in 2014 I had an identity crisis that forced me to go back to the drawing boards of my own life and company brand and rethink an entirely new approach to branding.
Long story short, my company was the top branding agency for nightclubs around the world. In 2008 I started going back to church, and over the following years I felt God pulling me away from that world completely. In 2014 I dropped every nightclub client to follow God completely and trust he had my back. Almost over night I lost it all…Employees, contracts, partnership…Myself…My identity as the king of nightlife marketing.
What did I do when my life flip turned upside down? Where did I go when I lost almost everything that had been dear to me for almost a decade?
How do I find my way back to a brand identity that would make me feel like I matter, like I have a purpose?
This is exactly where God needed to take me in order to show me my true identity – His identity through me.
What I’ve discovered since then is that branding is the external spoken word of the internal embodiment of God within us, trying to express Himself through us.
I know, it’s a mouthful. It’s very advanced thought. I’ve been at this for years now – I’ve dedicated my life to this topic of identity.
When things aren’t right at home or in the business, when life is crumbling around me and it seems like I’ve lost hope, I’ve come to understand that this is God’s way of correcting my brand and trying to line my company up with who He is, not who my selfish self wants us to be.
The dictionary defines identity as “who someone is, the name of a person, the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others.”
I’ve come to understand brand identity not as who my company is, but WHOSE my company is. It’s not so much about the cool logo and website, but more about lining up my qualities and beliefs with God’s qualities and beliefs. It is in this mirroring effect that God begins to attract to Himself, through me, the clients and people He needs me to work on.
The bible says
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
To find my true brand identity, all I need to do is focus on one thought: I am a child of God. The foundation of who my company is is grounded in my faith in a God that loves me, gives me purpose, and sees the big picture and reveals to me what I was born to do – the greater plan for my business.
What’s my company’s brand identity? It’s an object of His love, poured out from me for my customers to taste.
So while the roller coaster ride of Entrepreneurship takes its sharp twists and turn, that foundation truth doesn’t have to change in me: this business is God’s business. Even if I wrestle with internal feelings of not being clear on the external appearance of my brand, I can hold on to God’s truth. I know He’s got a plan for my business, even when I don’t know what it is or when it seems to look totally different than what I imagined.
This is what brand identity is about. The only constant is that it comes from God. Everything else is ever changing because as we draw closer to God and allow our companies to be used by God, the company always changes. God gives us the growth we so desire.
How do you see your company’s brand identity?
How do you think God sees your company?