Who would have thought a basic kitchen utensil would be a source of communication and personal branding wisdom? Well read on. There are many personal branding lessons from a vegetable peeler.
Lockdown and recipe repertoire
Like so many in recent months, my passion for cooking was reignited. Mind you I had always been pretty deft in the kitchen whipping up tried and tested creations quickly. And my scone prowess was legendary, but I digress. But with each night being a stay at home affair there was no choice but to lift the repertoire.
My kitchen struggle
And that meant adding a whole new range of vegetables and fruit. And there was my issue as I hated peeling. I had drawer of fancy dance vegetable peelers that I could barely use with each go leaving me frustrated. I felt like a personal failure and humiliated as I couldn’t quite master what had been marketed as the best thing in the world to make life easy and meals a breeze to prepare. What bollocks that was for me and I was desperate to have the old fashioned basic plastic cheap variety. But I didn’t think they were sold anymore. So imagine my delight when I found a pack of 3 for a mere $2.10 at my supermarket.
Peeling parsnips, swede and pears that night was pure heaven. It was quicker, easier and more accurate than all of the fancy peelers (which were dumped in the bin). My confidence had returned and I knew at that moment that not all which is sophisticated and expensive in and around the kitchen is better and often makes life harder. Mind you that didn’t apply to my beloved top range automatic coffee machine or rice cooker. And that is the whole point as we need to assess if sophisticated and expensive is a marketing ploy or is really valuable.
And it got me thinking on how people when they brand themselves often open the drawer of fancy pants ridiculous titles, elevator pitches and convoluted explanations of their core work and value (core: sorry about the pun, apples are really brilliant now thanks to peel).
Peeling away personal branding nonsense
A vegetable peeler is a vegetable peeler, not a magical plastic wonder kid. A sales person is not a ‘wizard”, a marketer is not a “ninja, guru, a lawyer not a ‘rockstar’. You get the drift. Seriously its bollocks. There is a huge value in wonderful creative marketing but not of your own personal brand proposition. It just looks and sounds manipulate and cheesy (sorry about the food pun again).
Many folk are being sucked into this malarkey they need to be over the top and sell their end game in their title and marketing. Don’t get me wrong, we are all selling the sizzle not the sausage (oops can’t seem to stop the culinary references). But it’s how and where that matters.
And do we mistakenly judge the fancy title (aka sophisticated expensive vegetable peeler) as being better than the humble Cheepie?
Can simple and straight create more trust to prospects?
And can a clearer value message position the value more clearly? Horses for courses but I think it would serve to re-assess personal branding communication. Have a think about who you are, what your true north values are.
Lose the nonsense titles and self aggrandising branding pitches of thought leader, rockstar, ninja, hero wizard,guru etc. Oh and never state you are THE top or No. 1 in anything.
Building trust is the essence of all marketing and be it conscious or subconsciousness it it is best to leave the mythical creatures to childrens novels and movies, Be fun and creative, but not a mythical creature of Harry Potter branding proportions.
Everyone is valuable with unique offerings. But hey just like labelling yourself as a thought leader, such titles are for others to judge and apportion to you as they review and peel your layers.
Read here for tips on crafting your LinkedIn profile and brand messaging.