You Are Not Your Client

There are two distinct types of identity crises our clients, and many businesses, face. The first identity crisis is straightforward. It asks the question: “Who am I?” This “crisis” presents the clearest line of sight to success in our business. Good branding begins here. We see the finish line and focus all our efforts on moving from here to there.The second type of identity crisis is the most difficult one to overcome. In this scenario the client believes he is his own best customer. Therefore, everything we do is measured by how he would react to it. Here’s where things get messy … and murky.

Picture an old western. The hero is grabbed by the collar, shaken and hard smacked across the face. This is usually followed by a “Get hold of yourself man. This is what you have been trained for!” Snapped back to reality our hero gets it together, inevitably figuring “it” out and eventually comes out on top.

Brace yourself for the figurative smack. You are not your client. We understand, as with the aforementioned hero, this revelation may be greeted with shock, loss of balance and onset of vertigo. Having believed, sometimes for years and even decades, you are representative of your best client, you may very well find it hard to believe what we’re telling you. Compounding this, in almost every instance, you’ve been successful, sometimes very successful, following this belief. No matter.

This is what you’ve been trained for. You are the hero. You’ll eventually come out on top. Your job is to produce a great product or provide a great service to your communities of interest. To do this effectively and successfully, you must continually evolve, understanding exactly who your communities of interest are and who populates them. Understanding this reality and presenting your authentic identity to these folks is where you win.

It’ll take courage. We talk a lot about courageous creative. It could also be called elementary creative. Because, in reality all we are doing is appealing to the very basest of your communities’ emotions and motivations. To do this, we have to know who they are.

It sounds obvious, but too many business owners never learn this crucial concept. They think their clients all have the same wants, needs and opinions as them. Oftentimes, they couldn’t be more wrong.

Are you?