Individualism = brand
I was reading an article on AdWeek, The Jay-Z Brand Decoder, and I couldn’t help but think of the idea of individualism and how it much of a role it plays in a brand. For instance, Shawn Carter (a.k.a. Jay-Z) began building his brand out of distrust for record companies – inability to trust their management of his image (as well as his earnings, I’m sure).
This idea of managing someone’s image is important. We all have a feeling of ownership with regards to how we are represented in the public light. As businesses, we also have a major concern with whom and how we are being represented. What Carter did back in 1995 when he began Roc-A-Fella Records was took control of his identity. This step was the first of many through which he was allowed to not only decide what he as an artist, as a public figure, was going to support and value, but also how he would do so.
For Carter, the act of defining and upholding his sense of individuality in the public arena did not mean he simply wrote it down in a positioning or vision statement and hand it off to others to take care of. No – what it meant to him, what it should mean to us all as businesses, was a chance to be hands-on in every endeavor. This isn’t to say Carter hasn’t forged many partnerships along the way, especially for a brand as widespread and complex as the one Carter has built to date. It’s important to choose the right partners, with whom you can work closely and trust, ensuring that your ideology is always manifesting itself in every venture that has your name attached to it.
The more of yourself, your values, your outlook that you can offer to your business, the more unique your brand will feel to your audience. It’s this individuality within every brand to which people are attracted to; it is truly your individualism as a person, as a business that makes your brand.