Identity Daydream

Let’s face it; there are many other people who do exactly what you do. Whether you are a doctor, an architect, a clothing designer, an attorney or a light bulb changer, there are countless others in your field that have the exact same skill set that you do. Many of them can do as good a job as you and we dare say, perhaps an even better job than you. But is that the whole story? Are you lacking the single most important aspect of a business? What is the truly unique property about any business? Through hundreds of interviews with CEO’s and their employees Harmonic Energies has identified what we believe is the answer to this question which is – the story behind the business which forms its brand and key identity. This is what gives a business its edge on its competition. Just about anyone can change a light bulb, it’s who is changing the light bulb and how you identify with that person and with what they do that will ultimately be the primary selling point.

The way companies are able to leverage this is by a marketing trend and strategy that we have termed “Transparency.” Transparency is something you see a lot of these days (pun intended). Brands are doing it on their websites; they are doing it on their labels and, as a matter of fact, you will likely see this transparency at every point of a brand’s interface. Transparency is the communication method that enables customers to have the clearest picture of the identity and message of a particular entity in the shortest amount of time. Put much simpler, companies want you to know as much about them as possible in the shortest time frame.

But, in that brief time segment, it’s not their product line they are trying to get you to see; it is the essence of the company they are trying to convey to you. Because of this, we have been seeing a seismic shift in brands in terms of how they express their “essence” and the “why” of what they do.

Take Jack Erwin Shoe Company for example, on their “About” page. Listen to this excerpt from the corporate biography:

“We began in 2013 from square one. Just the two of us. Our goal was to create simply designed, well-made and well-priced men’s shoes; the product we loved but couldn’t find. We had no framework, no certainty, no long-term plan. Without realizing it, we were beginning the greatest journey of our lives.”

This statement expresses an openness; a level of intimacy and trust with the customer, trusting its customers to know who they (the company) truly are. I’m not just buying their shoes, I’m buying their spirit, their sense of adventure, I’m buying them because I believe in them and identify with them . Real relationships and real talent are driven by the why factor. Companies now realize that people will connect with why they do what they do much faster and intimately than with what they do. There are countless other companies out there doing what you do; the only unique identifier is why you do it.

The ultimate fusion of course comes when the what becomes the perfect expression of the why. The obvious example of this is Apple. Through engineering and marketing genius, they have fused their why – their essence so to speak- into each product. You hold an Apple product or even look at one, and you know instantly, “this is so Apple,” not because of what it does but because of what it looks and feels like.

The more we are able to identify and isolate our why (our story), the more we will be able to differentiate our products from the rest of the market. Imagine if in someone’s autobiography, they wrote “head, arms, legs, hands, and feet.” It’s true, they do have those things and they make up a big part of who they are; but that is also true of about 6.5 billion people. Where a person starts to come to life, however, is where we begin to identify and relate to the people in the story; where they are from, where they got started, where they’re going and most importantly, why.

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