Quarterbacking Your Brand: How to Stand Out in a Crowded Field


This post originally from Christine-Ink.com

When Tommy Brady was in ninth grade, he wrote a school paper about how, one day, he would be a household name. His family thought he was exaggerating, but Tommy knew he had something special: determination. Well, that and a great arm.

It took years of unglamorous, hard work with little recognition. But by working harder, drilling more, never giving up and never letting anybody down, Tom Brady eventually rose through the ranks to become one of the winningest quarterbacks in NFL history.

That’s quite a story, and it’s one that will always ring true. No matter what, you can count on Tom Brady to give everything he’s got. That’s who he is to the core.

Whether it’s Tom Brady, or Michael Jordan, or Pele, or Muhammad Ali, every great athlete has their own unique style based on their own strengths and personality. Jordan could jump. Ali killed with speed. Pele never missed.

All of the greats have carved out space for themselves both on and off the field of play, and they’ve done it by being authentic to who they are. That’s a crucial part of what has made them stars: They never sought to copy anybody else, but always did the best they could do with what they were given. In a competitive world, that can make all the difference.

There’s a big business lesson to be learned here. As a leader, you are constantly competing to make your message heard on an increasingly crowded field. How do you stand out? By being absolutely authentic and playing to your strengths.

Looking carefully at your competition, you’ll probably be able to tell right away which of them are copying each other’s playbooks. Most people are afraid to take a risk by trying new things – but that’s ultimately what holds them back. After all, you’re not the only one who can see the lack of originality; your customers can see it too, and they’re tired of it.

So kick it up a notch, and start separating yourself from the pack. Show off your authenticity; invest in your true strengths; and most importantly, let some personality shine through.

Owning Your Field

Ready to show off your unique talents? It’s up to you to discover what they are, and how to use them to your advantage. Some things to try:

DO talk to your employees, customers and business partners about what they like most about you.

DO make a list of your personal and professional strengths. Don’t be too general – instead of “I always do a good job,” try “I always spend extra time going over the details.” 

DO look at successful brands and leaders outside your field for inspiration. What can you learn about how to excel with uniqueness?

DO take a personal approach in your marketing and communications. Throw out your generic sales letters and overly hyped Facebook posts, and write something you really believe!

DON’T create an inauthentic personality for your brand. Don’t pretend your company is all fun and games if what you really excel at is crossing every T!

DON’T try too hard. Like Tom Brady, building on your strengths will be something you work on for a long, long time. Make sure you’re starting from the right place.