Identity: a key asset

Written by Marsha Shenk

Like it or not, galloping technology, economic changes, and shifting concerns continue to alter how people will experience your business. That makes crafting a compelling identity an increasingly demanding task and a key differentiator - both strategically and tactically.

Prospective customers and allies aren’t likely to see your sign on Main St or go to church with your Mama. You’ve left with the double whammy of ensuring that you’re visible, and making every aspect of your business transparent.

It’s deceptively simple:


You’ve heard it all before: the noisy world, the imperative to remain relevant…and you’ve seen more than enough mediocre attempts to capture your attention. It might be tempting to be cynical. That’s a mistake.

You can’t control what people think and say about you
          Or how they experience your work
But you can certainly influence it. Here the identity work begins.

How are people feeling about:

  • What you say?
  • What you sell and what you give away?
  • How you come by your goods and services?
  • How you support your community?
  • Doing business with you?

We humans are exquisitely sensitive to what others do – our brains are built for that. Prospects know whether you grok them the way they want to be grokked; the impact on your business is profound. Building a strong identity begs for a new degree of business fitness.

Peoples’ trust goes right to your bottom line

Your identity lives in the minds of others: how they think and speak about your brand, products and services, and what they perceive about how you relate to employees, the community and the planet.

Is a compelling, disciplined core promise powering everything you do?
If not, you’re doing competitors a favor they can’t buy at any price

A sincere promise, fulfilled with respect, is universally recognized – as are the many versions of its opposite.

While much could be hidden in the Industrial Age, there’s no fooling people any longer

The ways that people encounter your business will continue to change. How they view your actions and the benefits you offer will vary – often quickly - as their concerns and interpretations shift. In the noisiest environment ever – noisier, actually, than the brain can handle, you have less than 5 seconds to pass two tests:

  • Are you one of my people?
  • How are you relevant to my concerns?

Whether you’re a solopreneur or a giant multinational,
If your listening isn’t world class
Or your brand promise isn’t current or doesn’t spark curiosity
Or your culture and delivery don’t fit just right
Or your outreach isn’t consistent and interesting,
          you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

It’s not a secret - identity becomes more competitive every day.
How will you win the game?

Are You Fit to Thrive in Any Economy?