Your legacy is something you create during your life solely to benefit future generations. I’ll use the analogy of planting a tree knowing it will outlive you but also knowing that it is a wonderful thing to do for the environment now that will serve a purpose for decades to come.
A legacy, in its truest form, is a gift you leave behind without expecting anything in return. We should all aspire to be stewards of our world in our lifetime and a part of our fabric should be to have left this world better than when we entered it.
Legacies do not happen overnight and they do not happen by accident. They are deliberately crafted and require years of dedication and forethought.
Your brand’s legacy isn’t that much different. Understanding what your long-range vision is for your business (your exit strategy if you will) is key to unfurling how you need to generate and communicate that vision to those around you. The end game is about creating enduring and sustainable growth (much like the aforementioned tree).
The tricky part about establishing a brand legacy is that the world is a revolving door of change. How brands remain successful is all about consistently planning and pivoting and ensuring your brand has rock solid positioning and purpose.
Legacies come in different shapes and forms, requiring varying levels of effort and commitment. How will you and the company you founded (or now lead) be remembered? That’s an evocative question, as it conjures up a future yet unseen. The question and answer are consequently conundrums for most people. Yet it’s also a question you need to consider and is worth dwelling on a bit.
Since founding my agency, Re-Tool Marketing, I think often about what I want my personal and professional legacy to be since those worlds are intertwined for me. I’ve made it my business to help individuals and corporations polish and up level their brands. I meet clients and within a brief amount of time they are opening up to me about what their multi-faceted challenges are. Since branding is typically made up of many layers and components, I’m aware of its complexity and how that stumps many a business owner. I have learned over the years how to best explain the value and importance of brand and how it without a doubt affects the bottom line for any business venture.
That said, I’ve earned the moniker of “brand gal” amidst my vast network. I’d like to think that is a part of my brand’s legacy, mentoring and educating others around the concept of brand so that it doesn’t remain something that is elusive and heady but rather something that serves a distinct purpose in making a brand stand out amidst a sea of similar. Watching clients faces light up when I provide clarity and helping them navigate around the branding maze brand is simply rewarding; seeing that light bulb moment continues to feed my passion for what I do.
If you have hung up your own shingle, you have “walked” many miles in your journey to find success or if you are a leader within a company you undoubtedly found your way up the proverbial ladder. What is your legacy? What is your brand’s legacy? Do you know?
Are you a compelling storyteller who can move hearts and minds to align people around your vision? Do you have an energizing “big idea” that galvanizes action? Do you have communication protocols in place to ensure that your powerful messages reach beyond and provoke commitment and produce raving fans?
People need to hear and feel your passion about your industry and your company’s future. Sharing personal and professional stories helps connect your customer (and employees) with you and emphasizes the values and behaviors that are near and dear to you and your company’s brand.
Another thing to consider, if you will eventually be the “baton-passer” of your brand’s constant pursuit of success, is who will be the recipient? Think of those in your inner circle and who you can mentor now to ensure your brand’s legacy has a firm foothold as the future unfolds. Your team (and thus inherent brand ambassadors) will carry on the torch so finding people to work for you that you know will continue to join forces to carry out your brand’s mission is an integral to-do.