Date Read: 6/17/2020
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Is your brand gay?
According to branding expert Re Perez, it should be.
In his book, Your Brand Should Be Gay (even if you’re not), Re praises the importance of authenticity in an increasingly inauthentic world.
Touching upon everything from mindset to the science of branding, the work is both practical and inspirational.
Below, you’ll find my notes and insights from the book.
Attention and Authenticity.
The color of this book grabs your attention.
The word “Gay” has the same effect. Why?
It’s simple. The word “gay” is a loaded term.
Taken together (the color and title), this book screams “Pick me up and read me, baby!”
But being loud and controversial–without a layer of depth–isn’t marketing. It’s gimmickry.
Great Brands Require Great Depth
The best brands don’t produce products and services. They produce meaning.
This is scary work. It requires holding your breath and scraping the ocean bed. Your fingertips might bleed, but the treasures you find are worth unearthing.
Re has done this work. And as you read his book, you know it to be true. The book title reflects it. Re didn’t just write a title with the word “gay” in it to grab your attention.
Re IS gay. And his book is a testimony to the power of living out who you really are.
It’s about owning your “depth.”
Brand Building 101
One of the standout elements of this book was its practicality.
It gets deep into the WHY of branding, but also paints the HOW.
When building your brand, Re lays out the following steps:
- Target Audiences
- Brand Purpose
- Brand Archetypes
- Brand Architecture
- Competitive Review
- Brand Positioning Map and Brand Promise
- Brand values, Brand Attributes, Brand Voice
- Value Propositions
- Messaging Matrix
- Creative Brief
- Brand Implementation Plan
Each section of the book gives a quick layout for each step. And while the details are far from exhaustive, they do provide a solid foundation to get started.
Designing Your Brand Promise
Of the eleven steps mentioned above, the section on brand promise was the best.
I instinctively see branding in this light already. So seeing someone else talk about it in a tangible way was reassuring.
Here’s what Brand Purpose looks like in a nutshell:
Be credible + Be relevant + Be unique.
Be > Do > Have
Towards the end of the book, Re recounts his early working years.
He talks about going to school, working and job, and finally “finding happiness.”
Spoiler alert: He came up empty-handed on the whole “finding happiness part.“
Despite having a successful job, Re says he had things in the wrong order.
He was following (as most of us do) the Do > Have > Be model. In other words, he was “doing all the things to be successful” instead of embodying the success itself.
The vision for life–and for your brand–that Re envisions, is one of radical transparency. One that blurs the lines between life and brand.
Re’s book is refreshing.
If there’s one thing I took away from it, it’s this:
There’s no faking a brand. You have to live it. And the only way to live it is to live authentically.
This means no more holiding back. No more censoring who you are or creating dividing lines between real and digitally lived lives.
Brands are radical. loud. And “gay. “
Your Brand Should Be Gay (even if you’re not) is a lighthouse in a storm of noise, calling us to step inside the depth of our greatness.
It’s damn good advice.