Steering a Brand

Topic

The Brand Behind the Wheel

Imagine gripping the steering wheel on a winding racetrack at blistering speeds only inches from your friends and rivals. Every movement of the vehicle is a direct reflection of the person controlling it; neurons fire, signaling the arms and legs as they methodically twist, turn and press the controls that guide a once lifeless vehicle…

Maybe you don’t have to imagine this since it’s often a common experience on our daily commutes or even our favorite arcade game. This is, however, a story about my personal experience of building a brand behind the wheel.

As many can relate, growing up and trying to figure out my place in this world was challenging at times. How will I define success? How will I react in the face of adversity? How will others perceive me?

It wasn’t until I was sitting behind the wheel of a racecar that I began to understand this idea of a personal brand and how it answers many of these common life questions. At blistering speeds, you can’t always afford to process your next move. You must learn to rely on instinct and ultimately your core personal brand to define the outcome. 

The beauty of this is that the people behind a helmet and the wheel of a caged speeding heap of metal are arguably the realest form of themselves. After all, their life and the others around them depend on it.

Through my experience, putting a helmet on was a transformation. Not of my personal brand, but purely the means in which my brand was perceived and communicated to the world and others around me. With that, how I was perceived on track carried over to who I was off track and my interactions with other people.

This same idea carries over to developing and maintaining a company brand. Your brand will directly reflect how spectators, your team, customers and competition perceive your business, product or service. If we call any interaction with a business a “race”, the success of your brand and everything it comes in contact with will have an affect on the outcome and winner of that race.

What does this say about your company brand?

If you were to place a helmet on your company and strap it behind the wheel, what kind of car would it be? How would it respond? Would it like it? Would it have fun? Will it win? The answer to those questions are what you can call your company brand.

Transformation isn’t changing who you are, it’s becoming who you are.

Justin Ketchum
Co-founder & Brand Strategist at Modly

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