That’s the phrase that Alison emailed me last week, which she heard on a cooking program she was watching.
What a great set of words: “Don’t deny your DNA.”
Before we start any project, we mine for inspiration. And that usually starts at home base for that particular company. It’s immersion. It’s one-on-one conversations where we listen intently to the words that come out of people’s mouth.
In the identity development business (okay, “branding”), a lot of potential clients want to “change” something about themselves. They want to “reinvent” or “rebirth.” “Breathe new life,” even. And that’s all well and good, but finding out what they can BECOME, is almost always directly tied to who they ARE.
Even if they have a tired, old company. Even if they don’t care about culture right now. Even if it’s a change in leadership that wants to make their mark on the company. You can’t deny your DNA. Because that DNA holds the keys. It’s going back and learning the stories of why and who and how this company or organization was formed. It’s uncovering the original stories and re-ignition that passion, entrepreneurship and excitement of those start-up days. Because those stories are what people are going to care about – and pass on and on and on.
Never try to be who you aren’t. That goes for a lot of things (even social media). If it doesn’t feel true to you, then don’t do it. You can’t deny who you are and what you stand for. Why would you want to? Because I guarantee you that there’s something in that DNA of your company that’s a gold nugget of inspiration you can move forward with. And embracing that DNA is one of the smartest things your brand could ever do.