“The Law of Expansion”
There’s a lot of talk in the business world about the need for branding in order to make a product or service stand out. I’ve been sharing this truth with street dancers for many years. Thankfully, after applying this concept, I’ve been able to help some of them really stand out. While branding can be applied to any category, here, I’ve focused on lockers with what I call, “brand new lockers.”
Whether we leap, point, kick or split, one thing is certain: We must find a way to be ourselves, and stand out. It would behoove each of us to know that we are a brand and, thus, must learn to think and act like one. Authors Al Ries and Laura Ries make it clear:…”A brand name is a noun, a proper noun, which like all proper nouns is usually spelled with a capital letter…
…Any proper noun is a brand. You are a brand. And if you want to be truly successful in life, you should consider yourself a brand and act accordingly.”
While this article is written about lockers, all street dancers, regardless of category, must know/act like a brand. Any branding program must be designed to show your point of difference from others in your category. This is necessary even if other lockers look very much alike. It’s not necessary to try to appeal to everyone to be successful. More than likely, you can’t anyway. So, to help get over this imaginary hump, I’ll share a specific law of branding from Al and Laura Ries, marketing/focus specialists.
But first, get to know this from Al and Laura, “a brand is just a word in the mind. Any brand name is a noun, which must be spelled with a capital letter…” One of the first laws of branding they share is: “The Law of Expansion”; The power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope. One example of a branded original Campbellock dancer is “Slim, the robot.” From the start, his name, Slim, and his specialty, the robot, was highlighted. And he has acted accordingly throughout their career. Of course there were others, but this one example gives you the point.
Today, you can see these branding techniques used with some of my own students. For example, Firelock is dubbed “the flying prince of lock.” This is simply because that’s his natural specialty, ruling the air and loving it. And again, while there are many who have points of difference, they haven’t applied the laws of branding to highlight it. In another effort to highlight the power of being different, author, Jack Trout says “differentiate or die.” Clearly, the point is that an effective brand must know its specialty and demonstrate it consistently. Without this, the brand can die. Put another way, when we try to stand for “everything,” we end up standing for nothing!
One of the main ways for us to easily stand out is to discover who we are, and simply “be yourself!” Frankly, it’s best to be yourself, because everyone else is already taken! So, in this first message on “brand new lockers,” I strongly suggest that we look at ourselves and discover our natural given difference. Then be consistent with showing it. The alternative is to try to be the original Campbellock dancers. This will never work. It comes under the category of the “me-too” syndrome.
It’s not necessary to try to be someone else, because everyone is blessed to be different in some way. And we do have a choice. The question remains, for the “now” locking world: Will we choose to “differentiate, or die?” The latter is not a progressive option.
I say it’s time to stand out, and “brand new lockers!”