No More Zombie Branding

Zombie branding is the traditional business branding that millions of job-seekers and business owners use to describe themselves and their businesses.

That’s right, I’ve finally found a definition of Zombie branding! Something that I’ve seen so many times over and over again. It could be the same OLD way to pitch your business, or the boring mission statement written on the walls of a company when you walk in their office that seems to state the obvious. You know what I’m talking about. It’s a monotonous, boring, obvious, overused language used time and time again that is supposed to inspire people to do something.

Your Zombie brand statement might sound something like this if you’re an employee,

“Results-oriented professional with a bottom-line orientation skilled at multiple disciplines and experienced with cross-functional teams. Motivated self-starter who works well with all levels of staff. Dedicated team player who meets or exceeds expectations.”  

This could most certainly be describing anyone. Here is a description of what the opposite of zombie branding and set you apart for the million job seekers.

“I believe, we have everything we need to live a meaningful life. My greatest strength is bringing the right people together and empowering them to do their best. Here are a list of my other strengths.”

Can you see and feel the difference?

Now, business owners – enough with the zombie mission statements. You’re killing me here. You know what I’m talking about. It distills your words into the flattest, dull, and uninspiring language possible. The mission statements or visions that start by saying, we’re professionals that create a shopping experience that pleases our customers; a workplace that creates opportunities and a great working environment for our associates; and a business that achieves financial success.”  My goodness, I hope you do. It says nothing. Nothing for the customer and nothing for the staff, but yet somehow they are on the walls of the office, website and other materials.

How not to Zombie brand.

Start with your WHY in conversation and in marketing. Stand for something greater than where you work or the car you drive, or your products or services.  This will do several things. Elevate the conversation to help you stand out and filter out those you only wish to speak with. For more info, go to Simon Sinek page, start with why.

Be Different. Do Different. Don’t be afraid to do something different to stand out from the crowd! For example. If you’re writing a resume and there’s a certain structure that everyone follows. Don’t. Push the boundaries. Play outside the lines.

For example, when I was in school (over 10 years ago)  I was working on my big design project for graduation. I was hoping this idea would land me a job out of school. I was trying to think outside of the box the best I knew how and push the limits. When I brought the idea to my teacher – she said, I don’t like the idea and I don’t think people are going to get it. Well 1 year later, I was published for the concept and design in a book for stellar design,  internationally and I did land that job within 2 months of graduating, Oh – and the feedback – was overwhelmingly great! See, you must do something different and out of the box to grab people’s attention.  Even if it’s against the norm.

Inspire your team with a rally cry – not a mission statement. When creating your mission, vision and values start with a new way of thinking. Something more progressive that works in terms of inspirational, experiential and different in the most simple way. Keep it to a brand belief and essence. Don’t worry about your 5-10 values that are posted on the wall. Again, keep it simple. Push the envelope and take this idea of mission and paint it real, go deeper and bring your WHY into the forefront of your branding whether is personal or business brand building, make it a rally cry!

If you’re interested in creating a rally cry for your organization please reach out! I’d love to chat with you.