You are what you do

Pretend to be the brand you’re not and you’ll attract the wrong customers and disappoint the right ones, says BRND WGN CEO, Peter-Jan Grech.

I’m standing here at 8.12am, 18 minutes away from my weekly Monday morning meeting with Sarah, BRND WGN's corporate communications lead, and I feel like a kid who didn’t do his homework over the weekend. 

Once again I haven’t finished my blog piece for Friday, and once again Sarah is going to say "It’s ok, we'll try to write something together later on in the week", and I’m going to say, "I’m sorry and I’m definitely going to get my blog done". Then we’ll spend another 10 minutes discussing what it is I’m going to write about this week, before she reminds me of all the other titles we have discussed and have yet to write…

But today is different. Today I’m determined to stop the loop. Today I am going to write what I set out to, on time. As I drive to work thinking about the blog, I also consider ideas for other posts that week, but I am always mindful of the current pressures of The Curated Life (as I like to call it).

Don’t get me wrong, both Sarah and I do think that ‘sharing is caring’, and the original reasons behind BRND WGN sharing thoughts, insta-moments, tweets, Facebook posts, etc, is because we are either super proud of what we have just done, or because we think that some of our ideas might be worth talking about. But that’s it. 

Every brand, every organisation, and every person out there seems to be burdened by the weight of a perfect online image. But The Curated Life is just a filtered, photoshopped, and made-up representation of who we aspire to be, but not necessarily who we are. Who do we think we are kidding? And who are we trying to attract? 

Branding is built on the premise of “You are what you do”, simples. Pretend to be the brand you’re not and you’ll attract the wrong customers and disappoint the right ones. 

No Instagram filter is going to save your clients, business partners, or colleagues from the true you. And neither is it fair to say your customer’s expectations are too high when it is you who is setting the bar too high. 

I can write what I want in these blogs, safe in the knowledge that when I trip up in my own thoughts they’re going to come back to only face me. But, as an agency, if you mislead a client’s audience, then it is them you have to face. And probably lose.

So, keep a realistic check on your advertising claims, read them in the brutally honest ‘voice of the customer’ and, if you can’t give me a good reason to care, then don’t go back to the creative drawing board. Instead, go back to the boardroom and fix your brand from the inside out.