I majored in Mechanical Engineering, but I took every entrepreneurship class my school offered. I've always been a big picture, blue sky thinker, and entrepreneurship was all that & more.
When I graduated Emory’s MBA program and wanted to start my own company, I knew a little bit about entrepreneurship, but I had no idea how hard it would be to explain to people what I was doing. I spent a lot of time learning to get out of the weeds & clarify my brand. And I learned that branding is really all about answering the WIFM question: What's in it for me?
I started helping a few friends map out their brand message using the tools I'd found, like story structure and buyer interviewing. Eventually, I was getting calls from designers, asking me to do 'brand therapy' with their clients. So I decided to offer brand coaching on a freelance basis. And today brand strategy is my full time job; working with exciting new ventures as well as established businesses to clarify the core of who they are.
My approach—to strategy and to branding—is to find the underlying 'why' behind the solution. Why should your audience care? What's in it for them?
For me, asking why isn’t about doubting value, but rather, a way to build connection. It’s a way to light a little spark of desire; a way to get them leaning close, hungry to know more about your idea. Ultimately, it’s about creating brands that connect.