When talking about personal branding and career planning, a lot of articles centre around the idea of ‘finding your voice’. As if, like the little mermaid, we had a clear and beautiful voice and then lost it in our pursuit of something else. I see definite value in looking back at your past, but it seems like a fairy tale to expect to find a perfectly worded mission statement by looking only at your past. So, I decided instead to look at the drivers of successful design and successful business plans.
Designs and businesses concepts I enjoy most have an important factor in common: they solve a problem. Not necessarily world peace, but effective design or businesses often make something easier or enable us to carry out something new. So, when thinking branding or about career planning, why not ask yourself the same question: what problem are you solving?
So it starts with finding the problem. If you don’t know the problem, you surely don’t know the solution. At the What Design Can Do conference (Amsterdam, 2014), city brander Willy Wong’s number one advice was: always reframe the assignment. In other words, start with identifying and understanding the real problem.
So, what problem am I trying to solve here at Think Create Innovate?
Right now I am finishing my master degree in marketing and economics. I love researching and thinking about branding on both an academic and a practical level. However, I have found that a lot of articles treat branding as an island: a special form of marketing that has its own special rules. I don’t think that’s the case. For me, branding is about connecting the dots that already exist: culture, business, the environment. Branding connects the dots in new ways to tell a story made up of components that were there all along. Hence, inspiration for branding, marketing and new business ventures should be sought in all kinds of places. That’s what TCI is about. Look, I even put it in a little mission statement!
What problem are you solving in your career?