I spent eleven years running my own alternative school. Starting a school is similar to founding a small country. You have a unique group who have rallied around you for this new venture, but the group doesn't have an identity yet. And it's YOUR job to help shape and articulate that identify. Like starting any business, that's a huge job.
For the first seven years of my school, I used a number of slogans, tried out a bunch of logos, and solicited hundreds of clients (and inadvertently chased off hundreds). In 2004 I experienced my lowest return from my branding and marketing strategies (I began with a deficit that year by losing my school building to a higher bidder and losing students to other schools. I spent one day courting investors who all declined. I remember sitting on the curb in the library parking lot, knowing I was ruined, and unable to go home to face my wife. The week before, all the stress produced my first white hair in my beard).
By the time I experienced some momentum after finally deciding on a logo, coining a slogan, and reeling in my customer base, and really REALLY knowing what I was doing, a wrench was thrown in the works. After all of that work, I now REALLY understood what I was doing and it WASN'T the thing I had FINALLY decided on!
I had been working on an algorithm for almost seven years that would help me decide 3 things about my customer. I wanted to know what my customer base liked about me, what they REALLY wanted from me, and what products and services they were likely to want from me in the future.
After several more years I finally realized something I had never noticed before. I realized that I wasn't really trying to understand my customer as much as I was TRYING TO UNDERSTAND MYSELF. When I understood that I was studying myself all along, my branding war ended. I realized that an important part of personality is 1) where you are, 2) where you were, and 3) where you are going. And those three strands were all wrapped up in the genetic code of my personality's DNA: me!
Click the video below to find out more about the 3 strands of your personality that I call your TRAITMARK.