You may have noticed that we’ve been rather quiet in the past six months. Given the economic slowdown, it might seem logical to blog more, not less, but we’ve been in a mode of internal change, which has necessitated a withdrawal from the day to day activities related to content marketing.
In February and March, we refreshed our brand (yes, as a brand company we need to continually work on our own brand). We deepened our languaging, moved more decidedly in the direction of offering “transformational” services, and revised our logo to reflect the subtle change in brand personality.
Then we sat with it . . . in stillness . . . doing a few brand projects, but mostly in gestation of our new energy space, preparing to rebirth 4 Directions Branding with a new energy and clarity of focus. You could say that we’re walking our talk by having the willingness to pull back and work on the foundation: the WHY, HOW and WHAT of who we are.
Pulling back to do this existential work is very often uncomfortable and unsettling, because it means we have to sit in recognition that we don’t have all the answers. The answers come though, but not from a place of thinking we know what they are, but instead from holding ourselves (for as long as possible) in a space of not knowing.
It’s like entrepreneurship itself, we launch a business or project not knowing if it’s going to work—driven only by a vision.
We Are Emerging
We’re coming through the uncertainty and uncomfortability of not knowing, and emerging into the light of clarity and new-found focus. Our vision and our brand is as much about what we’re not, as it is about what we are. Modern marketing wisdom says we need to appeal to a specific audience that has a need that we fulfill. But on a deeper level, we are about doing work that flows from our true essence—the integrity of our life’s journey—and boldly speak the truth about who we are and what we’re about, so that we can attract only those individuals and businesses that resonate.
This is 180 degrees opposite from conventional thinking, as it means (quite possibly) that it may not work. Recently, we took on a new client who said that when she went to our About page and read our positioning statement, she felt like it was her words. That’s about as high a compliment a person can pay us, because it means when our “ideal audience” visits our website they truly get us.
Seeking the Minimum Viable Audience
Instead of seeking to be the end all brand strategy firm, we seek to connect with only those individuals who seek greater depth and connection to purpose.
Seth Godin explained it best when he wrote, “When you have your eyes firmly focused on the minimum viable audience, you will double down on all the changes you seek to make. Your quality, your story and your impact will all get better. And then, ironically enough, the word will spread.”
It seems counterintuitive, but it works . . . and we’re all in.
By remaining in the not-knowing we’ve actually gotten better and discovered new ways of approaching our work. By letting go of our image of what the outcome needs to look like, we’ve found greater clarity. And by remaining in stillness, we’ve found a profound peacefulness related to the future of our brand strategy work, however that may look.
The New Us
The new us is striving to be radically authentic, real, honest, and wholesome. Our new WHY is,
“We believe that purpose-driven people and organizations have greater impact and the power to transform the world.”
Our new HOW is,
“We lead people and organizations to a truer and deeper understanding of who they are, inviting them to embrace their inherent brilliance.”
It may not work, but it’s us. For those who yearn for more depth and meaning in their business and professional lives, we’re there for them. For those who seek a more mass-market appeal, we wish them all the success in the world.
Look for more frequency, but not too much. The intention of this blog is to evoke, to inspire, and at times to prod. It’s about brand, but truly it’s about much more. It’s about touching the soul of our visions and bringing them to life. We hope you’ll ride along with us.
HT to the great Bob Dylan for no small measure of inspiration.