Branding, logos, and slogans are all the rage right now, and they are what make businesses successful. So, I was thinking…some great relationship advice would be, “Why not brand your romantic relationship?” That is the topic of this week’s Love Essentially column, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.
Should Romantic Relationships Have A Brand? by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press
There are certain days when I just don’t feel like going to the gym and working out. On those days, do you know what I say to myself? “Just do it.”
Did I come up with that line? Nope. That would be Nike. “Just Do It,” along with other branding techniques, a logo and overall marketing mission clearly contribute to the athletic shoe, apparel and equipment company’s sales of $7.8 billion last year.
“Branding defines your company’s message to yourself and to the public,” said Alisa Bay, a 30-year public relations veteran, who is currently the public relations director for Winger Marketing, which has offices in Northbrook and Chicago. “So, you have to dig deep within yourself to figure out what that message is that you wish to convey. If you’re living your brand, it keeps your business’ momentum going, and keeps you living by your mission.”
You might be wondering if “Love Essentially” just got renamed to “Business Essentially.” It did not. So, why am I talking business? I got to thinking, if branding is a proven method of success in the business world, then why not brand our romantic relationships to ensure their success and longevity?
For example, maybe you and your spouse would define your “brand” as “love laughing together,” or “trust and loyalty,” or “great sex,” or “similar values.” Labeling a relationship in two or three words isn’t easy, and it might take some time to think about it. But, if you can clearly state your brand, that’s a really good thing.
Why? Because as Bay said, having a brand – a clear message and vision helps you live by your mission. And if a couple can’t define their brand, maybe they don’t have a mission – or worse, maybe they don’t have the same mission.
Looking back at my failed marriage, my ex and I did not have a unified mission or a brand. We weren’t a team, which is what any successful company (or union) is.
That’s not to say if you are reading this and you can’t think of your couple’s brand right this minute, you are headed to divorce court. But try this: Sit down with your partner over a glass of wine and talk about your brand. What are the things that are most important to both of you? If you were a company, what would be your slogan? What is your mission? It actually might turn out to be a really fun and fulfilling exercise, and could enhance, improve or even help a relationship in trouble.
The following information from the website HubSpot.com might be helpful in this process. Here are four characteristics to a great slogan:
1. It’s memorable.
2. It includes a key benefit.
3. It differentiates the brand.
4. It imparts positive feelings about the brand.
For couples that can already define a brand, communicate it to each other and repeat it consistently, so it becomes both an expectation and an inspiration, and something special that both of you value and live by on a daily basis.
“If the public is hearing your message over and over again on a consistent basis, it becomes ingrained in people’s heads,” Bay said.
My point is, if you say your brand in your head fairly regularly – “Laughter and Lust,” “My best friend in the world,” or “Unconditional,” the repetitiveness can be powerful in getting through the toughest of times together.
Single people also need a brand. You know how people talk about that single guy who is still single because “he doesn’t know what he wants?” Maybe there is truth to that! Maybe that means the man has no mission and no brand.
Figuring out your relationship goals, knowing who you are and having self-awareness is key to branding yourself. “Want to be with someone who gets me,” “Fun-loving and not sweating the small stuff these days,” or “Genuine, caring and committed” are all brands that sound attractive, don’t they?
There is a reason I go to Starbucks almost every morning. Putting aside the fact that coffee is really good, there’s something else I believe drives me there: that green mermaid (or whatever she is) on the cup is deep-rooted in my brain. When I see her, she relaxes me and takes me to a happy place. One glance at her and I know I’m going to be warmed and awakened by what’s inside her cup.
I’m not going to pretend love is the same as business. It’s not. But if you can look at your partner like I look at the Starbucks cup…(click here to read the rest of the article, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.)
Like this article? Check out my blog, “Relationship Advice: When The Past Doesn’t Stay In The Past.”