It’s About What They Say, Not What You Say

Saying something to others is easy.
Making them agree with what you say is no easy.

Brand is about what people say about you, not about what you say

That’s what Marty Neumeier always say in his three book about brand (The Brand Gap, ZAG, and The Brand Flip). But, what does that mean?

I’m gonna try to explain this idea as simple as I can.

First, we need to understand that brand is more than just a name or logo. It’s bigger and more complex than that. Marty Neumeier say brand is about making reputation. Example, I want to build my reputation as brand strategist. Then, my brand is a person who know brand quite well. Maybe you want to build your reputation as food photographer, or urban cyclist. I don’t know. You pick your own reputation.

Second, reputation is built upon many factors that known as brand touch points. It is everything that can help you build your reputation. Example, because I want to build my reputation as brand strategist, I will use my social media to expose my expertise about brand. Or I can share some my perspective about brand on my blog. So, my brand touch point is social media and blog. Different person/brand/business will need different brand touch point.

I hope you get the basic information and knowledge about what brand really is.

So, maybe at this point you will think,”If I want to build reputation, I just need to state it. I just need to tell others about what I want to be.”
At certain level, that’s true. But, we need to consider how people perceive our statement.

At the end of the day, it’s them who will shape your reputation.
How come? What you say, what you do, will only influence them. Everything you say on social media, will only put certain images on your audience about yourself. You haven’t build reputation at this point. Not until they agree with what you say. Not until they say the same thing as you say. This is where things get tricker. Saying is easy. But proving what you say in real life case is more challenging. Everyone can state that they are photographer. But, the quality of the photo they produce, will be the real proof of their statement.

Once you state your reputation to others, you have to prove it.
You have to make sure that your quality and capability can prove what you’ve said before.
How many times we are disappointed by the ugly truth? When the fact is not even close with what have been promised. We see a good photos on Instagram about a cafe. Looks good. Looks promising. We give it a shot, then in the real life, it’s not that good. Will we still state the cafe is as good as the Instagram photos?

You can say about anything you want.
You can be anything you want.
But the key is, about what people say about you.
It’s about how to make them agree with what you say.