Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

November 29, 2012

Brands Are Stupid. So Are You For Trying To Be One.

Enough with this stupid discussion about “brands” and “branding” and “being a brand.” We’ve become a bunch of business idiots.

Who talks like that?

(Insecure. Wannabe losers.  That’s who.)

It’s chicken-shit business.  Bottom-feeder “fake it ’til you make it” ignorant philosophy.

Seriously, a brand?  That’s what you’re trying to build?

What about changing the world?  Or helping people?  Why not just do right by others?

Why is it so hard to just do the right thing?

Isn’t that ultimately the key to being successful?  Doing what is right day in and day out — regardless of what people think about you at the time?

Yet all this foolishness around “being a brand” has us distracted from what really matters.

And the words themselves are stupid.   A brand?  Who invented that?

The imagery is absurd.

A brand is something that a cowboy burned into the side of a wild cow.  It was a crude but effective way to let the other ranchers know who owned what.  And it make it pretty damn difficult for an outlaw to put his grubby hands all over your property.  The brand was there unchanging for the life of the beast.

Isn’t that a stupid plan for your business?

Have we soured suddenly on flexibility, candor, and adaptation?  Learning and improving based on what we see happening around us?  It’s completely ridiculous to buy into the idea that your business (and you as a leader) need to create this magically coercive but unchangeable public image.

Times change.  Ideas change.  Technology changes.

If you are going to be successful then you need to change.  You need to learn from everything around and refine and reframe your own inadequacies to be a better company.  To be a better leader.

The idea of whitewashing your problems under the guise of “this is what we want people to think we really are” is contrived and stupid strategy.

So what’s important?

Here are few things that matter:

  1. Being who you are.
  2. Moving towards where you want to be.
  3. Communicating your intentions.
  4. Apologizing for your mistakes along the way.

That is what is important.

Not pretending like you’re something that you’re not.  Not refusing to change.

Want to be amazing?  Build a track record of achieving results.  Maintain a reputation of being honorable. Do what you think you should do even though you might look bad for a few minutes right now.

Brands are stupid.

Be a person.  An amazing person.

That’s not stupid at all.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.