Branding: 7 Attributes Illustrated by Motorcycles
Branding is the tangible way we reflect personal philosophies and personalities. Essentially, brands are the external representation of our inner self. They reflect our values, perspectives and interests. Here’s how.
Motorcycle: Motorcycles are produced by manufacturers, each trying to create a unique identity. As soon as we hear “BMW”, “Yamaha”, “Honda”, “Harley-Davidson”, or “Ducati”, a specific image comes to mind. We form opinions of the bike and the person riding it, depending on the logo it sports.
Lesson: We are born into a culture with specific values, communication patterns and behavioral expectations. We come in different sizes, shapes and colors. Right or wrong, we make judgments and form expectations of others based on those attributes.
Motorcycle: Bikes come in different styles, depending on their purpose. Thus we have models suited for touring, off-road riding, cruising, sport riding – and the hybrids of dual-sport and sport riding. Each model is designed for a specific type of riding.
Lesson: We are born with a unique purpose, interests and talents. Developing those attributes prepares us for our journey. We are not meant to be all things to all people, although sometimes we try. Listen to our heart, follow our passion and do the thing we’re here to do.
Motorcycle: After being away from the market for a while, I’d lost touch with what was available and ended up purchasing a cruiser. Although it served its purpose, it was not suited to my style and after two seasons, I traded it for a naked bike, much more my style. (Note: Naked refers to simplicity of design, not literally naked. They also tend to be versatile, utilitarian and sporty).
Lesson: Sometimes we put ourselves in the wrong role and it just doesn’t work. It’s uncomfortable and drains our life energy. It may be a temporary fix, but eventually, we make adjustments to something more in line who we are. Our styles often evolve over time.
Motorcycle: When selecting a bike, we narrow down our choices and select the bike that’s just right for us. However, rarely does it remain untouched. We express our personal style, preferences and physical attributes through customized paint, alterations and accessories.
Lesson: We are born into a specific setting. As we grow, gain self-awareness, understand our role and power, we adapt our lifestyle accordingly to best suit and reflect our purpose. When there is harmony between our personal brand and our outer style, it reinforces our brand.
Motorcycle: Motorcycles are designed to serve a defined purpose – and to do it well! That’s not to say you can’t adapt it but generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to push a bike for a purpose it wasn’t designed for. For example, cruisers are great for back road excursions. They’re not good for trail riding. And vice versa. Bikes designed for off-road riding aren’t meant to travel highways.
Lesson: Do the thing only You can do. A dirt bike isn’t meant for touring, nor a cruiser for trail riding. Click to tweet quote. We don’t need another Mark Zuckerberg, Meryl Streep or (insert your favorite person). Those roles are already taken. We each have a unique purpose that only we can fill.
Motorcycle: Manufacturers spend millions to create an image through advertising, PR and sponsorship. And the job is never done. To keep their brand front and center, they need to be out in public, with a consistent message and creative new ways to keep awareness high.
Lesson: Our words and actions speak volumes about our brand. Our brand is an asset to be proud of. Use your voice to express it!
Motorcycle: Manufacturers go to great lengths to establish and protect their image. This extends to how and where logos are shown, corporate colors, the type of people they hire and the activities they support.
Lesson: Just being riders brands us as adventurers, risk takers, fun lovers, free spirits – with a touch of rebelliousness. Your brand is how you’re defined; who you are; or more accurately, the perception of who you are. And it’s one of your most valuable assets. Stay true to it!
This post continues exploring the themes introduced in Life Lessons From Motorcycles: 12 Principals of Survival.