I had a hard time coming up with a title for this post. I wanted to have something clever but not sound cliché, so I decided to start writing can see it something came up.
It’s always funny where inspiration comes from. It can hit you when you least expect it. It can be that little glow of an ember that could ignite into something wonderful, but only if you give it those first few flames of air. I’ve posted in the past about some really great TV shows on the BBC. I don’t watch BBC America often but every once in a while I’ll find something that I get a kick out of. I’m sure you’ve also heard how the BBC comes up with a great show and here in the U.S. they’ll try to copy it and just don’t do it right. There are plenty of examples; Who’s Line is it Anyways?, Coupling, Weakest Link, Who Wants to be Millionaire, The Office, and I am sure there are others.
We just started watching “Last Restaurant Standing.” We had three episodes on Tivo from last season. It’s really an interesting show. Surely you are aware of “Top Chef.” Top Chef on its own accord is pretty cool, but “Last Restaurant Standing” is sort of like ‘multi-dimensional chess” in comparison. The premise is that one of England’s most predominate chef and restaurateur, Raymond Blanc, is looking to partner with a couple to open a restaurant. Nine couples are given a restaurant to run, (none of them have any experience running a restaurant), and are given direction from the chef. The winner of the weekly change is given immunity and the rest of the couples face some sort of elimination challenge. The winning couple is split up and offers help to the remaining competing teams.
The last two episodes were around identifying and strengthing the restaurants’ brand. Last week, each couple was given simple directions to “develop a brand” and then set up. It was interesting to see how each couple went about what they each thought what was “their” brand and how to establish it. Most of them floundered, most of them had a really hard time with this excersice. And with this, I found myself relating.
The next episode they were given more clarification on what or how to identify their brand;
What excites you? What is your passion? What do you believe in? That is your brand, and that is what you must do. You must make other people, your customers understand and identify with your brand!
I’ve heard it before, this is nothing new. But the difference here was seeing the people in the hot seat and how they reacted to this. It was like they were too close to it to realize it. Each contestant had that moment where they said, “Oh! I get it!”
It was at this time, I had a realization. No, I didn’t realize what my brand was. I think I have a good handle on that, (don’t get me wrong, it did take some time to get there). What I realized was that manybe I wasn’t doing enough to promote what my brand was. Some of the contestants had really clever and innovative ideas on how to promote their brands. I would have not thought of them, but what I did find myself having, and this was like getting hit with a ton of bricks, was the permission to try really different things. I’m talking about stepping out of my comfort zone.
One thing is clear, is that you have to have a personal brand. I saw something on a new blog I started reading, Wirelessjobs.com. It referred to the 95% rule. Whenever you are at a networking event, see and hear what 95% of the people are doing. Then, do the opposite. If you are in the 5% minority, you are sure to get noticed.