An Open Letter

August 30, 2016 // Emily // No Comments // Posted in 21st Century Branding


An Open Letter

Dear business owners, entrepreneurs and CEOs:

We are writing this letter to tell you this: your brand is not what you think it is.

Branding is not creating a manufactured reality. It is you being you. Branding is not an initiative separate from leadership, culture, innovation and profit. It is all of those things: every day, in every interaction. Branding is not a perfectly crafted image. It is being imperfect in pursuit of a grander goal. Branding is not a slogan. It is your one clear message to the world.

Your brand is a monument to what you believe.

In short, your brand is your calling. That drive in your heart and the stirring in your soul to do the work you do. To dream, risk, invest, build, fail, grow, learn.

If your brand is your calling it deserves the very best of your attention. It is not to be relegated to a PowerPoint deck or a market budget on a spreadsheet. It is not to be delegated to an ad agency that will tell you what your brand is rather than help you discover it. Since your brand is your calling, it must be at the center of your business.

We’ve given you this truth, now we are gonna dare you.

We challenge you to these three dares:

  • We dare you to treat everyone who touches your brand as a human, not an avatar or target market. There is no difference in the way you speak to employees, customers, prospects and community.
  • We dare you to be messy in front of the people you lead and your customers. Show your flaws. Show your humanity. Tell them what you believe.
  • And we dare you to do something practical: stop treating marketing as a cost center and instead treat it like a revenue-producing lab.

Once you start doing these things, tell us what happens. How did you feel? How did people respond? What’s something new you learned? Just drop us a note at

If you’re not quite ready to take on these dares, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social. This open letter marks the beginning of a conversation we’ll be having with you about branding, leadership, talent, intellectual property and other sundry topics. So much more to come…

Emily + Justin


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