You Aren’t What Others Think You Are … But Your Business Is

Do you like ironies, paradox, and contradictions? I do. And I like this one a lot. And, better yet, it helps me work through some of the marketing angles for my business.

Flickr cc Dorian Gray soter-was-here

You can’t define yourself by what others think

“To thine own self be true” was Polonius’ last piece of advice to his son in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  Everybody gets this in theory. It’s hard in practice. Defining yourself by what others think is a bad idea. You know why. Everybody knows why. Right?

You aren’t what other people think of you.

But what others think defines your business.

Flickr CC mirror kool_skatkat/3008266499/Sure, you try to define your business with mantra, mission, your marketing messaging, almost everything you do with your marketing. But what really defines it is what others think. Your marketing goal is to influence what they think. And, beyond marketing, it’s the goal of your business offering, your sense of quality, your pricing, your logo, your website, your signage, everything. With business, however, it’s just the opposite: Your customers, your former customers, your champions and your detractors define your business for the world. You don’t. Understanding this is important to managing your marketing, your brand, your image, and your sales.

Your business is what others think of it.

(images: Soter Was Here! via photopin  cckool_skatkat via photopin cc)


  • Stephen Lahey says:

    Great food for thought, Tim. As part of a survey, I asked clients to pick three adjectives to describe their experience with me and my services. What came back was encouraging, yet quite different than what I had been expecting. I realized that my marketing needed to change.

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