I am sent a lot of emails offering me stock photos for reduced prices, even free. As you know, I always use a graphic here as well as in my other work for visual attraction as a complement to what I say. So I tend to keep an eye out for these types of emails offering me new visual material.

Last week I was offered some free stock photos, but it was not the promise of the graphics that grabbed me, instead it was their copy, curiously titled “UNBRAND” so I read it with great interest (you know me and branding!) thinking I had to refute it. Not quite:

We are a brand. Not a label. You too are a brand. Whether you know it or not. Whether you like it or not. A brand is not skin-deep. Labels are skin-deep, but a brand, a true authentic brand, is made of blood and bones, skin and organs. A brand has a heartbeat. Refuse to be labelled. Ignore their labels. Create your label.

To which I say OH YEAH! Please label yourself with all the relevant keywords, active gestures, and smart narrative you can, but tell your WHY to sculpt your enduring brand. On LinkedIn and elsewhere.

Labels can be changed like socks. Created, peeled off, and discarded.

Brands evoke an overall feeling, a sense of belonging and identifying. You to the brand, the brand attracting you, both magnetically.

You know when you experience a great brand.

Others feel your brand, so keep refining it for the experience of you. Rinse. Repeat.