Your Own Brand of Weird: An Homage to the Freaks & Geeks in All of Us
Oh, the highschool years…
I often reflect on them when I’m exploring branding analogies. The highschool years were just so extreme; we were fighting for our space in the world. Zealously planting and replanting our flags or attaching ourselves to the outspoken ones that weren’t afraid to do so.
Everything was so black and white back then. I, fortunately and unfortunately, have a vivid memory when it comes to my life experiences. I can clearly remember far too many moments sitting at the kitchen table with my family, making bold, all-knowing, I’m-an-adult-now statements about what was right and wrong.
Those years were all about finding our identities.
We struggled with finding ourselves and wanting to fit in. I look back at my highschool journals, surprised that I so actively stifled parts of myself that ended up becoming the pillars of who I am today. The bits I felt were too freaky, too geeky to share, they are what make me feel most ‘me’.
You start to form a sense of self after you move away from your parents and highschool clique. You realize that the weird kids were the interesting ones. You realize that superficial is boring. You form your own opinions based on experience and research, unclouded by the need to fit in or the urge to rebel against your parents. You start to realize that the bits of yourself you were once ashamed of, you are actually proud of.
If you’re lucky, you dive deep into your oddities and you let them take charge of your decision making. They free you from ‘what should be’ or ‘what’s been done’ or ‘what’s trendy’. And when you go down that route, what makes you weird makes you colourful and compelling. There’s nothing more magnetic than someone embracing who they are — following their own path. That goes for individuals and companies.
In brand speak — what makes you unique, your freak flag — this is your identity. Showing your true colours pulls in a more invested audience. They see you, proud of your individuality, and think, “Hey, I’m smelling what this person’s cooking — — I want to hear more.” The more authentic your message, the more compelling your brand.
Embracing what makes you weird is empowering. It gives you direction as you move forward with your journey. And, it attracts your tribe. So, I dare you to dive deep into your weird. That goes for you, too, skeptical business person! Be you, unabashedly.
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Originally published at www.thetapinteam.com.