Primal Branding Series #5 – Pagans. What are you not?

Continuing with my series on Primal Branding by Patrick Hanlon. I have discussed in previous posts the creation story, the creed, the icon, and the rituals. This week, I’ll be focusing on the pagans, or nonbelievers.

This is perhaps the easiest code to understand as a marketer. You always go to the market with a single minded message, and this is what this code element is all about.

You need to know what you are. More importantly, you need to know what you are NOT. You CANNOT be all things to all people!

If you’re the creative type, you are not going to be the all about math type.

If you’re selling imports, you are not going to be carrying locally produced goods.

Now, there are several caveats.

One, you don’t have to have just one brand. You could be selling imports and locally produced goods. However, they have to be different brands. You have to have different stores, and they have to have different positioning. On a personal branding basis, this would be harder to execute. In the end, you are your personal brand, and you are somewhat limited to one positioning. Maybe you’re a Jack/Jill of all trades, but you can only be a true expert in one thing. It takes a LOT of work to be a subject matter expert. So, if you claim that you’re an expert in everything, you would have a credibility problem…

Two, this does not give you the license to be bad at something. There is still cost of entry (i.e. minimum requirements). Just because you’re the creative type, doesn’t mean you cannot do basic math. You still need to know enough to keep track of your hours, billings, etc. For a business that focuses on imports, this does not mean you could forget about the locally produced goods business. You still need to keep an eye on all your potential competitors, and that often include those that you’re not in direct competition with. After all, there are only so many dollars in your consumers’ wallets, and these dollars move across different categories and segments.

Why is it important to stand for one thing? Then you know who you’re trying to target, and more important who you’re NOT trying to target. It makes your marketing effort more effective.

So, do you know what you stand for? Do you know what you are NOT?