The Known and the Unknown

“I just want to get my name out there.”

I hear that a lot in the advertising business, and I get it. Business owners, brand
managers, and marketing directors want exposure. They want to be top of mind.
But here’s the challenge: simply being identified isn’t the same as being known.
When I was in middle school, there was this kid that everyone sort of avoided. He
was a little dorky and maybe kind of shy. He kept to himself, but that didn’t seem to
bother him much. Everyone knew him as Ben, but very few actually knew him.

Then the school talent show came along. All the “cool” kids did their thing. Some
sang, some played instruments, some danced. They were, for the most part,
unremarkable.

Then it was Ben’s turn. Everyone giggled when he walked onto the stage-for about
5 seconds. Then the he lowered the boom. The dorky, shy kid had talent. Real talent.
He was a drummer, and he could play like nobody we had ever seen. As it turns out,
he had a studio at home and had been playing since he was three. Who knew?
Ben was finally known, not just identified. He stepped out there in front of everyone
and got noticed. He took a chance and filled a spot that no one else could fill. The
name Ben became synonymous with “awesome drummer.” He was a rock star.
I’m not advocating that we get our entire identity from what we do, or from our
talent, or even our personality. What I’m saying is simply this: it’s not enough for
your business to be known. You need to be known for something. What are you
known for?

Getting your name out there is fine, but being relevant to the needs and wants of the
customer is priceless. Take a chance. Step out in front. Show what you’ve got.
March to the beat of your own drum.

2 Comments on “The Known and the Unknown”

  1. A-sheep-LikeFaith

    Great story! Very encouraging. We have to give the world a memory for society to use to remember us, to distinguish ourselves in the market place. Individuality creates that memory. Did I get it right?

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