Wherever this finds you, I hope it finds you doing well. I’ve been hanging on to the last moments of summer here in NYC, and now enjoying the first days of Fall.
I had an incredible end to summer. Spending time with family on the coast of Croatia, eating too much pizza, bathing in the light of white stone cities like Dubrovnik and Trogir, soaking in the salty Adriatic sea, returning to a very special island off the coast where we swam in secret coves with no tourists and wide open vistas. Hopping over to Florence and being reminded that true artisans and craftspeople still exist. Walking through orchards in Tuscany. Speeding down to Rome to discover what spaghetti con vongole really tastes like, and walking amidst the history of the Roman empire.
As much as I have an itinerary and ‘must do’ lists on these trips, part of the value of travelling to Europe for me is always being reminded to slow down. I’m also reminded of the value of beauty – of dressing well, living well, eating well, and with nature. Of taking the time and effort to make the simplest things gorgeous. How did we lose this in North America? I’m committed to bringing it back.
A day after my European trip came to a close, I was on a plane headed to New York City. I’m here for 3 months, writing to you from my apartment in Nolita. If you don’t know it, it’s a small, vibrant and charming neighborhood snuggled up between Soho, Little Italy, Noho, Bowery and the Lower East Side. New York is one of my favorite places in the world. A city with a thousand personalities and what feels like unlimited potential, the very best of the American ethos.
I was saying to a friend that I find it ironic that I’ve come to such a fast-paced city at a time when I feel like I’ve finally got a hold on the pace of my business and work. This city can, at the same time, foster the illusion of competition, and remind you that everyone is an individual, and there’s space for us all.
I was talking to a client the other day about competition, about being leaders in a category. And it reminded me of something else I value about travel. New perspective. Pulling yourself out of the bubble. It is so easy to become myopic about our business, our industry, our city, culture, country. And these views are reflected in our brand. But the brands that we most admire are leaders that broke new ground (think Apple, Virgin, etc.). And I think to a certain degree you need to be able to gain an outside perspective in order to do this.
So I want to give you some prompts that might help you define or express yourself, or your brand, in a new and magnetic way.
Here they are:
• What is the ROLE that you play? Beyond your professional title…are you a storyteller, a provocateur, an artist, a teacher, a (fill in the blank)? Whatever it is – if you communicate from this place, it will feel good and it will draw out an emotional connection between you and your clients, and go beyond the “features and benefits” of your product or service.
• Your brand exists in other people’s MINDS. Think about a company like Tiffany’s. There are factual things about it (like it comes in a blue box), and emotional things about it (it’s romantic). What are those things for your brand?
• What’s something on your website that you’ve borrowed from someone else? Maybe it’s a strategy on your pop up, or languaging on your “About” blurb, or a tagline, or certain graphic elements…could you adjust those things to be in more alignment with who you are today and what you want to attract?
The filter to use when answering all these questions is:
– does it feel true to me?
These prompts came from a project that I’m inspired to dig back into this fall. It’s all about how you can identify what makes you unique and then how you can express that online. I’ll keep you posted!
Sending you love and autumn light from NYC,