Brand Essence: Say it in 7

One of the best reads I have experienced this year has been The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. Anyone who works in a creative field or wants to strengthen his or her creativity should read this book. Unlike many business books, The Accidental Creative goes beyond telling you what you should do and provides guidance on how to become “prolific, brilliant, and healthy.” I have been a fan of Henry’s Accidental Creative podcast for some time; it is a treasure trove of useful ideas for creatives.

An example of actionable ideas in The Accidental Creative is the concept of a 7-word bio. The idea is simple: distill what you do and who you are into a 7-word description. I see it as a cross between mission and position. While Henry discusses a 7-word bio as a tool for individuals (ideal for developing one’s personal brand), it has applicability for organizations, too. Drilling down to 7 words forces an organization to strip away grandiose proclamations and get away from wordy mission statements. In other words, cut to the chase and define what we are as an organization. What is the payoff of having a 7-word bio? It provides grounding and focus that guides decisions on what projects you take on and how you manage relationships.

This week, I have challenged students in my marketing communications class to develop a 7-word bio for their personal brand. It is a challenge I am taking on, too. What are your 7 words?

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